About Our Services
Our services primarily consist of providing expert patent illustration skills for attorneys, agents, or support staff that require drawings for utility and design patent applications and trademarks for submission to the United States Patent and Trademark Office [USPTO] or other international patent offices.
We can assist at any point in the patent application process but typically
render assistance during the initial filing of a patent application or as a response to a patent office objection as discussed below.
The tab Drawing Creation Process discusses the quality control steps that each case goes through in order to provide the highest quality product to our clients. The tab Information from Clients discusses how our clients send us the information we need to prepare the patent drawings.
- Utility Patent Drawings
- Design Patent Drawings
- Drawing Creation Process
- How Clients Send Us Work
Attorneys request assistance in preparing utility patent drawings for various reasons such as:
- The patent office has objected to the informal drawings that were filed with the initial application. Drawings are considered informal if they do not follow the specifications required by the Patent Office; typical objections are for small text height and poor line quality.
- The attorney has some type of drawings but they are not satisfactory to file with the application for various reasons. The drawings could be poorly done or just do not show the unique features of the invention.
- The attorney has a prototype or 3D model but does not have any drawings. We can use this information to create the needed patent drawings.
- The attorney has adequate drawings but they are considered informal which means they do not meet the requirements of the Patent Office and would like to file with formal drawings. Some attorneys like the aesthetic value of filing the initial application with formal drawings as they feel it gives a better presentation to the Patent Office Examiner. Also, this can streamline the patent process should the application be allowed at a later date since this reduces the chance of a patent office drawing objection.
Generally, we are provided with a prototype, 3D model, mechanical drawing or sketches of the device to prepare the drawings. Typically, we will prepare seven views of the device, one perspective view and six orthographic projections [Top view, bottom view, right side view, left side view, front view and back view]. The views will be shaded to show the contours of the surfaces of the device be they flat, rounded or other shape.
We cannot emphasize strongly enough that formal drawings should be filed at the initial filing of the design application: this can eliminate many potential problems. Too often, we have been asked to prepare formal drawings after a patent office objection. This can result in less protection, as the device has been rendered almost entirely in broken lines, to dispel new matter objections from the examiner.
We are usually provided with a sample of the mark to create the Trademark drawing. Generally, we convert the information provide to line art acceptable to the Patent Office while maintaining the essence of the mark. Color or grayscale is occasionally requested for filing a Trademark which is not a problem.
In-House Quality Control
Creating the formal drawings: Generally, we have an electronic file to work with, and import the file into our drawing program. Most often, the file imports as a bitmap image, allowing us to trace the bitmap, creating a vector image. The bitmap is then deleted from the file, leaving the vector image from which a high-resolution PDF file can be created, that contains the formal drawings.
Checking our work: After the drawing is created, it is checked by a second person. The checker compares the created drawing to the informal drawing provided, using a highlighter on the informal drawing to make sure that all areas of the new drawing agree with and correspond to the original. Any differences are corrected at this point.
Final internal review: The drawing is then reviewed by a third person. This review is conducted to look at the big picture of the case. Do the new formal drawings accurately represent the informal drawings provided by the client? Markups in red pen are made on printouts of the formal drawings for drafter to revise if needed.
Drawings sent for review: After drawings are revised and internally approved, they are sent to the client for review. Depending on client preferences, drawings are typically sent as Adobe Acrobat [PDF] files attached to an E-mail message. This file can be password protected if desired.
Client revisions: After reviewing drawings, clients contact us with any revisions needed. One method is to directly mark up and return the PDF file we send to you. A red circle around any changes quickly indicates to us the area that needs revision. In order to do this, you would need the full version of Adobe Acrobat or use a PDF editor that has this feature. For example, we use and recommend Foxit PhantomPDF. In this program we can use the red pencil tool and can freely markup any PDF.
As an alternative, and perhaps a better solution, the Snipping Tool can be used which allows you to select any part of your computer screen and convert it into a bitmap. This program is included with common operating systems. Please see “Snipping Tool” hyperlink for more information and an alternative program to the Snipping Tool. The bitmap image can then be marked up with a red pencil tool and saved as a file that can be attached to any email message.
As another alternative, clients can phone, fax, or describe revisions in an email and this is fine with us. However, for complicated revisions, nothing beats a marked up drawing to get both parties on the same page to get the revisions completed correctly.
Case completed: After all revisions are complete, we deliver the formal drawings using the method specified by the client. Clients receiving the drawings as files attached to email messages (usually Adobe Acrobat [PDF] files) usually print out the final drawings at their own offices, and these drawings are suitable for electronic filing. Most clients regard this as the most cost-effective option. If the client prefers, we will provide hard copy (via regular mail or by courier for a local client), including as many sets of drawings as are required by each patent office where the drawings will be filed, and an extra set of for the client’s files.
An invoice will be provided (as an email attachment) to the client, shortly after the client has informed us that the drawings have been approved, or after approximately five weeks have passed (without any further action being taken on the case). We will re-open the case at the client’s request at any time.
Drawing backup: We archive all computer files of drawings in the event you require additional sets or file amendments, related cases or continuations. Currently, we have archived drawings going back to 1992.
Most work is sent to us as an Adobe Acrobat file [PDF] attached to an email message. The next most popular method is to send files through our ON-LINE ORDERING FORM at our web site. This method allows clients to send us files that are very large and could not travel on the internet as an email attachment. We recommend that you use our on-line ordering page if your file is larger than 20 megabytes. We also receive drawings via mail, overnight delivery, courier, fax and clients dropping it off at our offices.
We accept drawings in a variety of electronic formats and can generally convert them to a usable form for our drawing program. We suggest you send us what you have, a PDF file being the first choice. Should we run into difficulties, we will let you know. In addition to the drawings, if available, please send:
- A Form PTO-948 (Notice of Draftsperson’s Patent Drawing Review from USPTO), an Annex C1 to Form PCT/RO/106 (Patent Drawing Review from PCT) or similar forms from other patent office’s so we can see specifically what the patent office has objected to.
- The description of the drawings can be useful since this can answer questions that arise during the drawing process.
- Supporting files from which the informal drawings were derived if clearer than provided drawings.
The information we need from you in addition to the above is as follows:
- Your case number [We will use your case number to track the case in our system]
- Contact name(s) [Person(s) to send the drawings to for review]
- Contact email address(es) [We will send the drawings for review to this email address]
- Contact phone number(s), and mailing address(es) if you are a new client
- Review date [We will send the drawings to you for review by the end of the day specified. If no date specified, we will send the drawings in ten business days or more]
- Filing date [The date you need to file the drawings]