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According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)'s Patent Drafting Manual, page 67: “Claims mark the boundaries of the protection provided by a patent, just as a physical boundary such as a fence, marks the limits of a parcel of real property.” Each claim is a single numbered sentence defining a patent owner’s exclusive rights. The importance of developing strong claims for one's patent applications is vital to getting a patent granted. Besides defining the scope and boundaries of the invention, claims state the legal rights of the patent property owner. Just like real property, patents may be bought, sold, or licensed. It is the means by which the invention is separated from the public domain. Claims are the most significant inclusive section to read when comparing one’s invention to prior art in published patents and related disclosures of others during a preliminary patent search. Claims are the heart of a patent. Without strong claims, a patent is useless. For more background about patent claims, see IP Watchdog's What to Know About Drafting Patent Claims.
Patent drawings further support the claims of a patent application. The old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words is obvious when seeing the drawings of a patent. Each drawing further supports cited claims. Inventor drawings developed before meeting with a patent attorney or agent are also a helpful guide to visualizing what an invention does. Furthermore, patent drawings could be created by anyone with artistic talent so long as he or she follows the requirements of the USPTO included within its document, entitled Guide for the Preparation of Patent Drawings, or search for it online at HathiTrust.
Drawings are necessary for most patent applications (except chemical-related patents). Drawings often help a patent examiner to better understand the subject matter of a patent application. Patent drawings must follow standards established by the USPTO. Drawings should be black and white line drawings unless otherwise specified by the USPTO.
Patent Drawings -- Additional Resources
USPTO's Guide for the Preparation of Patent Drawings - Download zip file.
Nolo's Patent Drawings: How to Draw Your Own - https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/patent-drawings-draw-own-30248.html
IP Watchdog's Patent Drawings 101: The Way to Better Patent Applications - https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2014/08/02/patent-drawings-101-the-way-to-better-patent-applications/id=50644/
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Information on this page and other content from the YIP website, programs, or services are provided for informational purposes only. Any information provided should not be considered legal advice. YIP seeks only to facilitate related information and community connections to further IP awareness. Any information received from YIP should not substitute for securing legal advice from a licensed attorney.