Amongst the different illustration guidelines set by the USPTO, having clarity about which illustration line types to use is crucial. While producing patent illustrations, you must follow every guideline by the book. Having the clarity of these illustration line types will further ensure that your patent application doesn’t face rejection.
You must understand that these lines are not random or simple lines. The USPTO has its guidelines to streamline the system so that they have a standard for judging every patent illustration. So, let’s understand them properly.
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Various Illustration Line Types
Basically, there are 5 different illustration line types available to us. Each one represents something different, yet equally important.
The most common, and the most frequently used line type. This line represents the claimed portion of a patent illustration.
A phantom line is as important and nearly as frequently used as the solid line. This line represents the disclaimed portion of a patent illustration. These lines can be confused with the dashed line type. Hence, it is important to draw the line type in a dash-dot-dot-dash or dash-dot-dash format.
These are the lines that don’t come into use as frequently. They are deployed in utility patents and rarely used in other kinds of patents. It represents an object, or a part of an object that is obstructed by another part, device, etc. If such is the case for a view where a part of the invention is hidden, it must be represented by the hidden line. This line is drawn in the dash-dash format.
This illustration line represents a part or device that detaches or comes apart from another embodiment. This line comes into play while depicting exploded views of the illustrations.
Typically deployed in design patents, these lines separate disclaimed areas on an embodiment from a claimed one. You draw this line type in the dash-dot-dash format.
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What do These Illustration Line Types Look Like? An Example
Below, you will find how exactly do these lines look like. It is important to know how exactly you must draw these lines because each one has a separate format. Be mindful of the formats for each line.
Now, let us see a basic example of how the different lines are used in an illustration.
Here we see the illustration of a sink. We can see the solid line, the boundary line, and the phantom line.
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