A Closer Look At Patent Illustrations
When patenting an invention, patent drawings must be included. These drawings are the first draft of the application and may include an illustration of the invention itself, or of some aspect of its creation or construction. Whether you plan on applying for a utility patent, a design patent, or even a provisional patent application, the drawings come first when creating the patent. In today’s blog, we are going to review the importance of patent drawings, the different types of patents, as well as some other helpful information.
Why Patent Drawings Are Important
Patent drawings are important because they can be useful in a variety of ways. Let's take a look at some reasons why these drawings are beneficial:
- Inventor Perspective. Patent drawings are useful for inventors in two ways. These drawings not only add more value and clear objectives to their work but also make it easier to explain the invention to potential buyers.
- Subject Matter Expert Perspective. Subject-matter experts have technical knowledge of the invention or idea. By using patent drawings, the inventor’s work is enhanced and much more efficient. They can help with presenting their idea with strong visual influence, making the idea more likely to get patent protection.
- Patent Examiner Perspective. Patent drawings make inventions more precise and easy to understand. This, of course, is depending on the type of invention. This will save both time and effort of the subject matter expert, which makes the invention more likely to get protected by a patent.
- Future Investor Perspective. Patent drawings can make it easier to understand work more properly by those who are interested in the topic.
What Are The Different Types of Patent Applications
Different types of patent applications exist so that inventors can protect different kinds of inventions and ideas. Let's review the different types.
A utility patent is the most common type of patent. It is a long, sophisticated document that teaches the public how to use a new machine, process, or system. Inventions that are protected by utility patents are defined by Congress. New technologies, such as genetic engineering and internet-delivered software, are challenging the boundaries of what kinds of inventions can receive utility patent protection.
Ideally, drawings for utility patents should at least show all the elements mentioned in the claims. Additionally, illustrating processing steps can help in understanding a claimed invention in certain cases.
Utility Patent drawings may illustrate:
- Line drawings showing shapes of objects
- Block diagrams
- Electric circuits
- Chemical formulas, among others.
A provisional patent is a simple way for the inventor to have a patent application on file. Once on file, the invention application is patent pending. If, however, the inventor fails to file a formal utility patent within a year from filing the provisional patent, they will end up losing the filing date. Because the provisional patent application being a shorter, simpler form than a full patent application, some believe that the requirements also differ and that patent drawings are not absolutely necessary. However, the function of a provisional patent application is to obtain protection for your invention. This requires a complete disclosure of what the invention is and how it works, and patent drawings are a key component to clearly understanding that.
A design patent protects an ornamental design on a useful item. The shape of a bottle or the design of a purse, for example, can be protected by a design patent. The document often consists of many illustrations and drawings that aid in understanding the appearance and aesthetic of the invention. Unlike utility patents, drawings in a design patent do not have a reference number.
Some of the views that may be included in a design patent application include:
- Standard views
- Isometric views
- Exploded views
- Sectional views
- Enlarged views
- Movable parts
Plant patents are exactly as they seem: a patent for a plant. Plant patents protect new kinds of plants, mainly ones produced by cutting. Plant patents generally do not cover genetically modified organisms and focus more on conventional horticulture. The patent drawings for these applications are quite different from those of utility and design patents. These drawings do not use reference characters to visualize any process or shape, but instead, use colored or black and white illustrations.
What Type of Patent Is Best
As you apply for a patent for your invention, consider all the ways to protect your new device. You can file a design patent to protect the unique look of your improved egg beater. You can file a utility patent to protect the machine itself and the way it functions. You can even file a provisional patent application to allow more time to file your utility application. The different types of applications exist to give inventors options. If you still aren’t sure which patent applications are best for your invention, you should consider working with a patent design company.
The Point of Patent Drawings
At its most basic, patent drawings are to protect your invention. Properly using the different kinds of patent applications that are available to inventors require an understanding of what each one protects and how they vary from each other.
Need Assistance With Patenting Your Invention?
If you need help with patent drawing or applying for a patent for your invention, contact the team at GloberDesign. Our team of experts can assist you with your inventions product development, to learn more information, contact us today!