Hello friends how are you all? Today we are going to talk about Inventors Why So Many Patent Applicants Fail to Meet USPTO Illustration Requirements? have the choice to safeguard their original ideas by filing patents. The most important thing that inventors need to consider before creating a patent application is the chances of its success. In the United States alone, every 600,000+ patent applications are filed. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is in charge of overseeing these patents, which can be categorized into – design patents, utility patents, and plant patents.
The USPTO is very strict when it comes to assessing patent applications. In fact, 86.4% of all patent applications submitted (irrespective of the category) receive non-final rejections. That means inventors need to make certain modifications before continuing with their application filings. Non-final rejections are opportunities for inventors to address the issues mentioned by the USPTO. But, these opportunities are expensive, time-consuming, and frustrating.
Why So Many Patent Applicants Fail To Meet USPTO Illustration Requirements
Avoiding mistakes that could trigger rejections is the best approach that patent applicants should take. Some issues in patent applications are non-avoidable. For example, if your claimed elements are detected in prior applications or if your invention is too similar to an existing invention, rejection is inevitable. But, there are some easily avoidable causes of rejections. Issues with your application drawings, for example, are technically avoidable.
But, patent offices, the USPTO in particular, have very strict regulations that patent applicants need to abide by. You may have the cleanest illustrations possible with no blotches, loose lines, or blurry marks, but if you use colors, greys, or shading in the wrong way, your application can easily get rejected. There are a variety of ways patent drawings can create issues for inventors. Unless your patent application has the highest quality illustrations possible, the chances of approval are slim.
Mistakes In Utility Patent Drawings
Utility patent applications are the most common types of patent applications. The USPTO has a nonprovisional filing guide on how to draw perfectly clean drawings for utility patent applications. Here’s why so many utility patent applicants fail to meet these stringent requirements –
Some Requirements Are Outdated
The rules for patent illustrations date back years ago when most utility patent applications involved mechanical inventions. Even though rules like all illustrations need to be in black and white, don’t suit newer types of inventions (for example, fashion inventions or biomedicine inventions), they still need to be followed.
With the USPTO, patent applicants can submit color drawings. But, they need to file petitions to get permissions first. They also have to pay extra fees. Many inventors are either unaware of these rules or too busy to follow them. That’s why they find things like presenting complex charts only in black and white extremely challenging.
Believe it or not, if the paper you use for your illustrations is not 21.6 x 27.9 cm (8.5” x 11”), your application may be turned down. The margins of the paper need to be properly spaced as well (top and left – 2.5cm; right and bottom – 1.5cm, and 1cm). The USPTO also requires illustration sheets to be submitted in PDF format. So, if the drawings you made by hand are not scanned properly, your patent application can get rejected! That’s why patent applicants who don’t have the quality advantage of having electronic drawings have higher rejection rates with the USPTO.
Legibility And Universality Issues
The pure black and white marked illustrations should be legible at a 2/3 scale. They shouldn’t lose meaning when they’re reproduced in different sizes. Lines, letters, symbols, and everything else used in the illustrations need to look satisfactory when reproduced at larger or smaller scales. The elements of the drawings (letters, numberings, symbols) also need to be universally understandable.
Utility patent applicants who fail to familiarize themselves with these challenging rules set by the USPTO face unnecessary rejections and delays.
Mistakes In Design Patent Drawings
The USPTO has even stricter standards for design patent drawings. The USPTO demands applicants to include certain types of ‘views’ (POVs) in their illustrations. Design patent drawings are also required to feature proper surface shadings to highlight product dimensions and shapes. These shadings are not required in utility patent drawings.
Thankfully, the USPTO does allow applicants to use black and white photographs instead of ink drawings in special circumstances where photographs are the only feasible medium for demonstrating the claimed inventions.
But, in most cases, the USPTO asks design patent applicants to include black and white line drawings in their applications. Similar to the rules involving utility patent applications, petitions need to be filed by applicants who wish to include colored illustrations or images in their applications.
How To Avoid These Mistakes?
Mistakes in patent illustrations are easily avoidable. Patent applicants can easily avoid them by professional illustrators who have mastery over USPTO illustration requirements. These professional patent illustrators use the latest software tools to create patent illustrations that are impossible to reject. More importantly, they don’t refrain from making numerous iterations to meet the inventors’ specific requirements.