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Jonathan
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Re: Patent Drawings
« Reply #5 on: Nov 14th, 2004, 2:15pm »
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Good topic. Patent drawings are such an integral part of the patent process but I rarily see much discussion on them.
 
Here is my laundry list of observations, please feel free to add your opinion or experience:
 
When the publication rules for newly submitted patent app. figures went into affect in early 2001, many people at my firm interpreted it to mean that informal figures would only be accepted to secure a filing date and that formal figures would be required soon after filing. For example, via a Notice of Missing Parts. It generally turned out that the patent office would only require new figures if the informals violated the margin rules. As a general rule, we generally will always obtain formal figures before an applicaiton is filed.
 
Regarding informal figures issuing into patents, it has been my experience that the figure rules are applied rather unevenly and is rather dependent on the Examiner and various other patent office personnel. I have had the unfortunate experience of not noticing an informal figure and it made it into the issued patent. As a result, it is another thing on my issue fee checklist to make sure they are in order.  
 
 
I have also seen notices from the patent office requiring the submission of formal figures before they would issue a patent.  
 
Yet another experience is an Examiner that required me to submit formal figures in response to an Office Action. This particular application was filed, with informal figures, sometime in 1999 and an Applicant can request for drawing objections to be held in abeyance until a Notice of Allowance was sent, for applications filed back then. I think the magical date is for applications filed before the publication rules went into effect - January 2001 or so. The Examiner  didn't want to budge on this one, so I just complied with his wishes since I was pretty sure of this application going to issue and I would have obtained formal figures at some later point.
 
Regarding draftsperson rates, what do you consider to be reasonable? My preferred drafting company (Patents Ink of Baltimore) charges about $75 per drawing sheet on average. I think this is on the more expensive side. However, they do consistently excellent work with fast turnaround. I once tried out a cheaper drafting company but was rather unsatisfied for a variety of reasons.
 
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PatentDraftsman
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Re: Patent Drawings
« Reply #6 on: Nov 14th, 2004, 2:59pm »
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Good topic. Patent drawings are such an integral  part of the patent process but I rarily see much discussion on them.  
 
Here is my laundry list of observations, please feel free to add your opinion or experience:  
 
jkudla says: When the publication rules for newly submitted patent app. figures went into affect in early 2001, many people at my firm interpreted it to mean that informal figures would only be accepted to secure a filing date and that formal figures would be required soon after filing.
 
PatentDraftsman says: I remember it like it was yesterday. I received a dozen calls from attorneys wondering how to interpret the new rules. Bottom line, it seemed like another good reason to (if possible) submit formal drawings to begin with.
 
jkudla says:  For example, via a Notice of Missing Parts. It generally turned out that the patent office would only require new figures if the informals violated the margin rules. As a general rule, we generally will always obtain formal figures before an applicaiton is filed.  
 
PatentDraftsman says: Margins! Yikes! And what about them blurry lines? Sometimes I’ll draw outside the lines (margins) just to keep the examiner from noticing “real” problems with the drawings. (Only kidding!)
 
jkudla says: Regarding informal figures issuing into patents, it has been my experience that the figure rules are applied rather unevenly and is rather dependent on the Examiner and various other patent office personnel.  
 
PatentDraftsman says: Don’t get me started!!!
 
jkudla says: I have had the unfortunate experience of not noticing an informal figure and it made it into the issued patent.  
 
PatentDraftsman says: I laugh out loud every time that happens. (Consequently, I do a lot of laughing.) However, it’s no laughing matter when you have to spend your time (and money) kicking around unimportant minutia with a stubborn examiner.  
 
jkudla says: I have also seen notices from the patent office requiring the submission of formal figures before they would issue a patent.  
 
PatentDraftsman says: I’m not up to speed with the attorney’s responsibility, but I thought formal drawings were always required before issue.
 
jkudla says:  Yet another experience is an Examiner that required me to submit formal figures in response to an Office Action. This particular application was filed, with informal figures, sometime in 1999 and an Applicant can request for drawing objections to be held in abeyance until a Notice of Allowance was sent, for applications filed back then. I think the magical date is for applications filed before the publication rules went into effect - January 2001 or so. The Examiner  didn't want to budge on this one, so I just complied with his wishes since I was pretty sure of this application going to issue and I would have obtained formal figures at some later point.
 
PatentDraftsman says: Sometimes it’s better just to comply. You’re lucky the examiner didn’t ask you to stand on one foot and howl at the moon. Whatever it takes…….
 
jkudla says: Regarding draftsperson rates, what do you consider to be reasonable? My preferred drafting company (Patents Ink of Baltimore) charges about $75 per drawing sheet on average. I think this is on the more expensive side. However, they do consistently excellent work with fast turnaround. I once tried out a cheaper drafting company but was rather unsatisfied for a variety of reasons.  
 
PatentDraftsman says: The rates you quoted sound very reasonable. I suggest that you prepare your client spend an average of $500 for the drawings. Of course the actual price can range from much less to much more. But generally speaking an “average” design or utility application (in my experience) should cost about $500 (usually a little less).
 
PatentDraftsman
 
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JimIvey
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Re: Patent Drawings
« Reply #7 on: Nov 18th, 2004, 12:27pm »
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on Nov 14th, 2004, 2:15pm, jkudla wrote:
Yet another experience is an Examiner that required me to submit formal figures in response to an Office Action. ... The Examiner  didn't want to budge on this one, so I just complied with his wishes since I was pretty sure of this application going to issue and I would have obtained formal figures at some later point.

I seem to see this one when there's some error in the numbering of elements of the figures (either in the figures themselves or in the specification such as an incorrectly numbered reference).  For example, the drawings show a widget 10 and a dooh hickey 20 and the specification refers to a widget 10 and a dooh hickey 12.  It's an easy fix, but the error is one that could conceivably lead to confusion rather than simply a problem with letter height or shading.
 
As for filing with formal drawings, for some of my clients, deferring $500 is significant.  
 
Re Notices to File Missing Part, I believe they were listing formal drawings as required in the response for a while.  The PTO appears to have stopped making that requirement in the Notice to File Missing Parts.
 
Thanks for all the input.
 
Regards.
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Re: Patent Drawings
« Reply #8 on: Nov 19th, 2004, 7:40am »
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on Nov 18th, 2004, 12:27pm, JimIvey wrote:

 
As for filing with formal drawings, for some of my clients, deferring $500 is significant.  
 

 
Certainly.....
 
And the key word in your comment regarding rates is "some".
 
Like I said:
 
PatentDraftsman says: The rates you quoted sound very reasonable. I suggest that you prepare your client spend an average of $500 for the drawings. Of course the actual price can range from much less to much more. But generally speaking an “average” design or utility application (in my experience) should cost about $500 (usually a little less).
 
I've studied the wages for patent draftsmen and technical illustrators. As president of the ISTI (International Society for Technical Illustrators) and a member of the STC (Society for Technical Communication) I've been asked many times to suggest a reasonable per hour rate for technical drawings. Of course, as in all fields there are many considerations including education, experience, proficiency, skill, geographic location, etc., etc.
 
At the end of the day, a skilled and proficient patent draftsman or technical illustrator should realize $40 - $60 per hr. It’s easy to imagine an illustrator spending 10 hrs on a patent application (including client conference if applicable, information management, production, invoicing, etc.). So, 10hrs X $50 per seems plenty fair to me.
 
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james yang
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Re: Patent Drawings
« Reply #9 on: May 9th, 2005, 5:52pm »
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Where are you located patentdraftman?  and, do you accept work?
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