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PatentDraftsman
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Patent Drawings
« on: Nov 13th, 2004, 9:40am »
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Yesterday, (11/12/04) I discovered this forum.
 
I was surprised when a Search for the word “drawings” resulted: “Sorry, not matches were found”.
 
I’ve been successfully producing patent drawings for more than 30 years. I’ve migrated from pen and ink to the latest technical illustration technologies.  
 
If you have any questions regarding patent drawings, I’ll be happy to offer my experience and opinions.
 
At my desk,
 
PatentDraftsman
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JimIvey
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Re: Patent Drawings
« Reply #1 on: Nov 13th, 2004, 11:03am »
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I'll ask one ... two.
 
1.  I'm seeing more and more drawings with shading (e.g., screen captures) be accepted and published as formal drawings, e.g., on an issued patent.  On one of mine, the patent issued with the informal drawings rather than the formal drawings that we submitted (representing not insignificant cost to the client).  The odd thing (as if that weren't odd enough) is that there were two applications sharing identical sets of drawings, the other issued with the formal drawings.
 
Has there been a relaxation of the requirements for formal drawings?
 
2.  It's been a while since I looked as design patent applications.  Can they be filed with informal drawings?
 
Many thanks.
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James D. Ivey
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PatentDraftsman
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Re: Patent Drawings
« Reply #2 on: Nov 13th, 2004, 12:23pm »
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JimIvey:
 
Great questions/observations.
 
Your first question regarding shading is a grey area. (No pun intended.) I’ve prepared formal, informal and provisional drawings using screen captures. And, at the attorney's request, I’ve also hand (computer vector) traced screen capture content and reset the type – just to eliminate all grey tones. Unfortunately, this is one of those areas where the appropriate solution seems to depend on the particular examiner conducting the review.  
 
That said, here’s another twist (or possible solution). I believe some attorneys submit screen captures as photographs. This way, the grey tones (or color picked up in the screen captures) are reviewed as photos rather than drawings.
 
Your second question is easier. Sure, informal design drawings are quite common. However, if you submit informal design drawings, you’re asking for trouble. It’s almost impossible not to introduce new matter while formalizing informal design drawings. And, the inconsistency between views becomes apparent when preparing the formal drawings. So, if the draftsman follows the informal drawings exactly, the odds are there will be ambiguity between the views. If the draftsman corrects the problems inherent with the informal drawings, the examiner is likely to scream “new matter, new matter”. My advice is to submit high quality accurate formal design drawings to begin with. Even with all that going for you, the examiner is sure to complain about something (shading, contours, jots and tittles, etc.).
 
Hope this helps,  
« Last Edit: Nov 14th, 2004, 7:00am by PatentDraftsman » IP Logged

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JimIvey
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Re: Patent Drawings
« Reply #3 on: Nov 13th, 2004, 4:51pm »
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Thanks!  That helps.
 
Re screen captures.  I still file informal drawings and wait for them to complain.  Most are considered good enough for publication of the application.  We prepare formal drawings when requested by the PTO.
 
Interesting point on design applications.  It makes sense since there's really no text on which to rely for what's "material" and what's not.
 
Thanks again.
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James D. Ivey
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PatentDraftsman
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Re: Patent Drawings
« Reply #4 on: Nov 14th, 2004, 7:13am »
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on Nov 13th, 2004, 4:51pm, JimIvey wrote:
Thanks!  That helps.
......We prepare formal drawings when requested by the PTO.
 
Thanks again.

 
Many attorneys take this approach. It’s my opinion that the formal drawings should be done upfront for many reasons.
 
With contemporary technologies, 90% of the time it’s just as easy (and cost effective) to prepare formal drawings from the “get go”. Also, readily available source materials (engineering drawings, photos, sketches, prototypes) have a tendency to get lost over time and become unavailable when it’s time to prepare the formal drawings. If the formal drawings are done upfront, the draftsman can ask for additional source materials that maybe harder to procure (or impossible) a year or so later. And finally, it is my experience that it’s more cost effective to do the formal drawings upfront. If you’re interested, I can support this argument with additional details.
 
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