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What are the Utility Patent Drawing Requirements

What are the Utility Patent Drawing Requirements?

In simple terms, Utility Patent Drawing Requirements are a few guidelines. The USPTO has issued these guidelines so that patent illustrators follow a standard procedure. Moreover, these guidelines help a patent application process run smoothly. Also, it encourages uniformity in patent applications. Moreover, you may avoid many errors in your patent applications if you follow the USPTO guidelines. A patent application consists of various documents, drawings, and so on. Therefore, you need to manage your patent application. Each year the USPTO grants utility patents to various inventors who are seeking a patent. Utility patent drawing requirements guide applicants in making apt patent drawings. In the next section, we’re going to learn about utility patent drawing requirements.

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Utility Patent Drawing Requirements

Patent drawings are an essential part of a patent application. Therefore, you need to include as many views as you can in your patent application. Moreover, there are several views of an invention. The following are the USPTO defined views: exploded views, partial views, sectional views, alternate position, and modified forms. Each view tells about the specific appearance and functionality of an invention. As a result, an examiner finds patent drawings easier to understand. Utility patent drawing requirements cover all aspects of patent illustration. Also, a utility patent application is unacceptable without a single utility patent drawing. Therefore, it becomes necessary for you to know about the Utility Patent Drawing Requirements. Here, look at the utility patent drawing requirements.

Utility patent drawing requirements

Most of the time, the USPTO receives patent applications that have black and white drawings. However, you may include colour drawings if the invention becomes more legible. Your drawing sheet must be of dimension 21.6 cm by 27.9 cm. moreover, you need to give proper margin to each drawing sheet.

  • Top –  2.5 cm
  • Left – 2.5 cm
  • Right – 1.5 cm
  • Bottom – 1 cm

After giving margins to drawing sheets, the usable surface on sheets remained is 17cm by 26.2 cm.

How to number drawing sheets

While numbering drawing sheets, you should use Arabic numerals.  Generally, numbering is done in the middle of the top margin. Keep in mind that your numbering isn’t in the top margin. However, you may do numbering on the right of the sheet if drawing is big and approaches top margin.

There is a specific way to number drawing sheets: drawing sheet number/total number of drawing sheets.    

How to add details in utility patent drawings

You have to use reference characters and lead lines with arrows to add details in a patent drawing. You need to connect reference character to a portion of the drawing with a lead line. As a result, you have to include reference characters that you used in the drawing. In the description, you can explain the reference characters. If a portion of the drawing appears in more than one drawing, you can use the same reference number. You may make lines either straight or curved according to the situation. However, it shouldn’t reduce the legibility of the drawing. Moreover, the height of reference characters should be 0.32 cm. You must place reference characters at suitable place. They must not interfere with lines and reduce the legibility of drawings. Also, you may include arrows with lead lines.

How to put identification, security, and copyright markings on drawing sheets

In some cases, because of unfortunate events, the drawing sheets of your patent application may get mixed with another patent application. In these cases, the USPTO identifies the drawing sheets by checking the identification marks. You need to put identification markings within the top margin. The identification markings include the invention, the inventor’s name, the application number (if known), and docket number (if any). Moreover, you may provide a name and a telephone number to the USPTO along with the patent application

Some applicants may want to include security markings in each drawing sheet. If the USPTO allows, you may use the authorised security markings. These markings should be placed in the middle of the top margin.

The USPTO allows copyright markings on drawing sheets. For instance, you may use ©1983 John Doe” (17 U.S.C. 401) and “*M* John Doe” (17 U.S.C. 909) below the figure.

How to add mathematical formulas, tables, computer program listings, and waveforms

The USPTO asks applicants to follow the same patent drawing guidelines for mathematical formula, chemical formulas, tables, computer program listings, and waveforms. These graphical forms are considered as drawings. Also, each graphical form is a separate figure.

How to add the views of patent drawings

Earlier, in this article, we read about the types of views of patent drawings: exploded views, partial views, sectional views, alternate position, and modified forms. You should create multiple views of a drawing. As a result, the views of drawing cover claims that you mentioned in the patent application.

Moreover, you need to put a view on the front page of your patent application. Therefore, you must find a suitable view for the front page.


The USPTO reproduces the patent application. Therefore, you need to draw figures aptly. Each view should be visible clearly when it is reduced to the two-third size.

Moreover, reference characters, lines, numbers, and letters should be visible clearly.

The USPTO has an extensive list of drawing rules. These drawing rules act as utility patent drawing requirements. Therefore, you need to follow these guidelines carefully.

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The Importance of Following the USPTO Drawing Rules

Are the USPTO drawing rules required? Yes. There are. The USPTO has to examine numerous patent applications every day. Therefore, to avoid errors, the Office has issued guidelines related to utility patent drawings. Sometimes, these guidelines are called utility patent drawing requirements. These guidelines not only make a patent application process smooth but also increase the chances of getting a grant.  

Related Article: A Complete Guide to Patent Illustration Rules

Professional Patent Illustrators Fulfils Utility Patent Drawing Requirements

Professional Patent Illustrators (PPI) has years of experience in making patent drawings. PPI has served clients from more than 45 countries. The patent firm is based out of the U.S. and offers world-class services at affordable prices. Specializing in making utility patent illustrations and design patent illustrations, PPI is a market leader. Moreover, you can visit the website and check the sample illustrations. If you wish to use the illustration services, visit Professional Patent Illustrators.       

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