Inventions are easier to explain via drawings and illustrations. Unlike textual descriptions, well-crafted drawings are much more efficient at expressing the core fundamentals of new inventions. Bear in mind – most patent examiners in the world are overloaded with applications. It’s the duty of the applicants to help them understand their inventions/prototypes faster.
Illustrations and drawings strengthen patent applications, design patents in particular. Design patent applications, unlike utility patents, rely solely on drawings to get important points across to patent examiners. The United States Patent and Trademarks Office is very clear about its approach to illustrations and drawings in design patent applications. According to them –
- Drawings and illustrations are the “most important elements” of design patent applications.
- Drawings in design patent applications give patent examiners “visual disclosures” of the claims being made by the applicants.
- Drawings and illustrations in design patent applications shouldn’t leave anything to conjecture when it comes to the core aspects of the invention.
So, design patent drawings have to be extremely well-detailed to meet the USPTO’s stringent standards of acceptance. They must clearly display every feature of the invention/prototype, including the design’s
- Material texture
- All other key properties
If any part of the invention’s design is left to the imagination, patent applications will be returned without reviews.
What the Law Says
A recent Federal Circuit case exemplified the significance of highly detailed patent drawings. In the case of Flow Valve, LLC versus Forum US, Inc., the district court said that design patent drawings need to be understood by everybody, including non-specialists.
It doesn’t matter if highly skilled professionals comprehend the broader connotations of the patent – if the design patent drawings are not clear or easy to understand, the court will deem the original patent defective and refuse to accept the application.
Reasons to Include Design Patent Drawings in Your Patent Application
If your design patent application doesn’t contain any design patent drawings, your application will simply not go through.
- Submitting design patent applications without drawings or with low-quality drawings is a waste of time and money as the chances of rejection are 100%.
- Even not following the required formats of design patent drawings can get inventors barred from application processes.
- Patent reviewers request applicants to send correct drawings only once or twice. Repeated failures to do so results in permanent application denials.
- Applicants are not allowed to amend any discrepancies in their drawings once they’ve been submitted to the patent office.
- Unfinished or poorly arranged drawings could result in fatally defective disclosures, which can subsequently prevent the inventions from ever getting patented.
Design patent applicants essentially have one shot at making every aspect of their application perfect.
Why Inventors Should Partner with Experts of Design Patent Drawings
Most nations have vaguely similar rules when it comes to the inclusion of drawings and illustrations in design patents. The USPTO, however, is extra strict in this aspect. They demand applicants to include drawings with appropriately shaded surfaces.
According to them, shading in design patent drawings shows them three-dimensional aspects of the designs. That’s why USPTO design patent drawings need to appear almost artistic, whereas design patent drawings from other countries look more like engineering/technical drawings.
For example, if your design drawing doesn’t have shading or has broken lines, the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) of Europe will accept it. Send the same design patent drawing to the USPTO, and you’ll face instant rejection.
For inventors who are already pretty busy with their main responsibilities, wrapping their heads around such nuanced requirements is almost impossible. Plus, most design patent applications typically include two to three sheets of drawings. If it’s a super-complex design, expect the patent application to feature at least five to six sheets of drawings.
How can inventors or patent attorneys spend so much time on these drawings when they have other tasks to handle in the patent application process? That’s where professional providers of design patent drawing services step in. These professionals –
- Make applicants feel confident that their drawings will be USPTO-compliant. Applicants can focus on other tasks as professional illustrators take care of their illustration requirements.
- Meeting deadlines becomes easier when a major part of your design patent application process is being handled by professionals. The USPTO deadline for filing patent design applications is less than 365 days of public introduction. Professional design patent illustrators can easily help applicants meet these deadlines.
- The best design patent illustrators are well-versed in the patent laws of the USA, Europe, and China.
- Professional design patent illustrators know exactly how to use shading, dots, lines, etc., to reflect the various angles/aspects of the invention properly.
- They label the drawings to give the most accurate renderings of the applicant’s design.
Before agreeing to work with inventors, professional design patent illustrators sign NDAs and learn about the concepts behind the new inventions. Their services are essential to the global intellectual property market because, without them, inventors with limited budgets would never be able to deal with the stringent requirements of the USPTO and other major patent offices around the world.