The art of replicating a real time object or a functional model of a system into a 2-dimensional platform for the understanding of the common man is an illustration, it becomes imminent to have an illustration in a patent application, and these are normally referred to as patent illustration, patent drawing, patent figures, and patent images etc.
The patent law demands that a patent application is to furnish at least one drawing, if at any point within the application it is capable to illustrate by way of a drawing, this can be taken as a huge advantage for an applicant to make it more convincingly acceptable to the examiner and the common person to understand and approve the idea, as the phrase suggest ?a picture can say a thousand words?, this is where we come in and focus our expertise to maximize this advantage to our and the applicants benefits.
A good patent illustration can make it easy for the patent drafting, and hence expediting the whole process, along the prosecution of the application as well. What we are saying is, illustration of an application is equally important if not more than that of a drafting of the application, and for which it requires the same amount of expertise, skill and diligence that a draft demands of an application.
Patent Illustrations are required to be in the form of line drawings in black and white as against in the form of colour etc. The Indian patent and design offices have rules to the effect of paper size, margins, durability of the patent etc, Similarly the other jurisdictions have rules to the effect of what types of line drawings are allowed. Shading to what extent is allowed and not.
Indian patent Act and rules have specific rules about the Illustrations and the referencing about the drawings or Illustrations. The Indian Act and rules also allow for the Drawing or Drawings to be referenced as a part of the Abstract in the event the same in considered as important In the understanding of the technical invention, the advancement and utility which is to be mentioned as a part of the Abstarct. The presence of the drawings in these circumstances as a part of the abstract helps in such understanding. This is also important as when the publication happens, these drawings which are referenced as a part of the abstract also will be published. This publication reflects while one is searching a particular technology or a technical field.
If it is not in the drawings? it is not in the patent!
Yes, it is true beside the case of chemical compound or composition. It has been observed that all the other fields of invention have the capability of squeezing in a figure or two, which means probably the examiner will end up asking the applicant or the attorney to cough up a diagram to enable the crystal clear projection of the invention. Since the patent document is written with a specific format, though the understanding of the patent in possible in the summary, the detailed understanding is often facilitated by the drawings or illustrations. For instance in a patent for a mechanical inventions, the patent illustrations are of foremost importance as it shows the different parts and point of attachment for each of them. In mechanical inventions, in order to make the Illustrations to fall within the ambit of the regulation and for complex illustrations, we need to take assistance of AUTO CAD as well. We at Singhwal, have professionals who have the experience with AUTOCAD in order to work on such Illustrations.Our professionals are also well versed with other tools that are required for such Illustrations including that of Corel Draw and MS Visio. Such Illustrations are also common with respect to Design patents, in addition to utility patent, wherein different views of the design is to be submitted. A mere understanding of the tool is no sufficient in these instances, rather an understanding of what the product is, along with experience in the technical domain is what helps the final Illustrations in these domains come across with perfection, so that they are will within the rules of the Patent Office. Though the distinction of design and utility patents exists only with the United States patent and trademark Office, the Illustrations for the Industrial designs in India as well as the European Union also follows similar rules.
In patents where there are certain processes with respect to mass production of certain chemical products or process patents in material sciences or those which include bio processes. A Patent illustration showing the entire process is of paramount importance in addition to the explanation which forms a part of the description in the specification.
Most people can fully understand the invention by just looking at our drawings alone. Most people are picture oriented, rather than word orientated. They can understand an invention far more readily, from the patent illustrations. This is when a patent Illustrator needs to come in. A patent Illustrator is one who has the expertise and a great knowledge of visually representing structures, machinery, biological elements like the change in a DNA strand, and from many fields put together, an ability that is cultivated over the years, a will to convey minute details to a broad point of focus.
We take care of applicant’s invention and zero in on their point of novelty and inventive step that helps us magnify those attributes into our drawings. A patent drawing needs to convey each elements of the invention as mentioned in the description, so that to properly enable the disclosure with clarity, that also means the important elements needs to be detailed in a way, so that neither they should not be missed out in larger details of the drawings, nor they should be missed out. in the actual written description.
Though photographs are also allowed as Illustrations for design patents, it is better to have line drawings filed as the same will help obtain wider protection as against a narrow protection just for the photograph. The inventor may have the instinct to include as many features as possible in the drawings, however one should remember that the detailing will be objected or will narrow the protection that will be granted. Therefore, it is best to get the same reviewed by Illustrator’s and patent attorney’s who understand the rules and regulations of the patent offices as well as, understand the underlying design or invention.
It is quite possible that an invention has multiple point of focuses that enable the invention to stand on the ground of patentability, but we cannot deny that a patent drafter may never forget a thing from all those many enabling points which may lead to be a potential disqualification of a patent, but keeping a patent illustration from an expert illustrator who has also taken up to his/her understanding of the invention will include those missed out points.
Eventually, a drawing will save all the applicant and the inventor’s aspirations. A competent patent illustrator always advise and follow the territorial guidelines provided by their Patent Offices. Additionally, patent Examiners will review the drafting for compliance with the regulations of their own offices. Our team has developed drawings/Illustrations for the patents from hand-made sketches of inventors, descriptions and notes of the inventor with references of closest prior art to that of proper photographs of the actual product. We work closely with the inventors or clients and allow for multiple iterations till the final Illustration is up to the satisfaction of the inventor and is in accordance to the invention as well as that of the guidelines of the specific jurisdiction for which it is to be filed. We provide the illustrations in the format in which the client so desires.
The USPTO, EPO & IPO all have regulations, more or less the same. However, we are equipped to take up the Patent Illustration work of almost any other jurisdiction including, SIPO, JPO, KIPO, ETC. We take utmost care while illustrating figures of Patent applications to bring out the inventive step and the enabling points of an invention, and only the diagrams that are required by the patent application after deeply discussing the same with the Patent Attorney, inventors or the applicant as the case may be. This is of utmost importance to inventors or Applicants who are planning to file in multiple jurisdictions. When Patent Illustrations are created by experts who have a multi-jurisdictional knowledge of patents and designs, the same helps in reduction is cost through prosecution across various jurisdictions. Thus, providing solutions which are one time and requires very minimal re-work, if any required in the different jurisdictions.
USPTO rules for drawings
As far as the USPTO is concerned, flow charts and diagrams are considered as drawings. Size of sheets and the margins are also to be considered while finalizing the drawings. The most important parts are the guidelines that are provided with respect to the actual Illustration which includes that the drawings should be line drawings which are well defined and uniform. There are rules about how the cross section has to be depicted. The scale to which the drawing is made along with how references are made are also to be looked into.
PCT and European Union rules for drawings/Illustrations
As far as the World Intellectual Property Organization’s requirement for drawings are concerned, the PCT rules and the European Union rules for drawings are similar to that of the USPTO regulations when it comes to the line drawings and that of cross-sectional representations as well. The references in the diagrams should be in parantheses and should be clear.
Additionally, as part of our quality processes, we also give due focus to identify certain inconsistencies that an IP attorney might miss, which definitely helps in reducing down office actions. For an appropriate and acceptable Patent Drawings, guidelines should be religiously followed, which may vary a bit across the jurisdictions, and an experienced illustrator keeps in mind which all countries the application may be applied to, and takes a composite approach to reach a required standard and guideline, so that in the future, re-working should be reduced to maximum extent and minimal office actions shall be received for the drawings Of course, that means a substantial time and cost saving at the office action stage and through the prosecutions.
We at Singhwal assist in Patent Illustration services which are in consonance with the relevant laws that the client is interested in and therefore provide holistic services as far as Illustrations are concerned, so that the prosecution is smooth and turns out to be cost effective.