Difference between formal and informal patent drawings

Posted by ADMIN September 22, 2021

Formal vs Informal Patent Drawing

We discussed the importance of patent drawings in your patent application and why you need to include patent drawings in your application in our previous article. If you missed that article, you could check that one by clicking here to get a better understanding of this article. There are many rules that you need to follow when it comes to patent drawings. USPTO and other patent offices globally have their own set of guidelines for patent drawings. We already have published eBooks covering the patent drawing rulebooks by major patent offices globally, including USPTO, EPO, and PCT rulebooks. 

In this article, we will understand the difference between formal and informal patent drawing in detail. By the end of this article, you will have a clear idea of which type of drawing you should use in your patent application and why. Let’s dive deeper into the topic to understand the difference one by one.

Informal Patent Drawing

When you are done with your invention and want to share the design with your patent attorney, you usually share the rough sketches of your invention. That drawing is known as informal patent drawing. It does not necessarily need to follow the USPTO drawing guidelines. The only limitation with the informal patent drawings is that they can only be used in the case of a provisional patent application. You can not include informal patent drawing with a non-provisional patent application. 

The only sense here is to explain everything about your invention to the patent office. The more sketches you include in this case, the better it works in your favor. You will understand why when we share the following article on the provisional and non-provisional patent application. It would be best to use every detail about your invention in the form of an easy-to-understand informal drawing. The last thing you want to do in this case is to give a wrong representation of your invention. It will make the whole idea of provisional application useless in that case. It would be a better idea to get it reviewed by a professional patent attorney before you submit these drawings. 

Formal Patent Drawing

Formal patent drawings are quite obviously the exact opposite of informal patent drawings. They are not as easy to draw as the informal ones. You need to follow the complete guidelines by the USPTO in case of formal patent drawings. In the case of formal drawings, you need to be precise in the drawing, or you will need to hire professional patent drawing experts. The formal patent drawings can be further divided into other types depending on the invention. 

Utility Patent Drawing

The utility patent drawings are mandatory in case of a utility patent application. We have explained them in detail in our previous article. You will need to create drawings for your invention with various fields of view to give complete representation to the patent application examiner in case of a utility patent application. It can be a set of 2-dimensional or 3-dimensional drawings. They are the types of drawing that need one of the highest levels of precision after the design patent drawings. A small error in your drawing might impact your patent application and not in a positive way. Even if it gets approved, there are high chances that competitors can find loopholes in your design to use it against you.

Design Patent Drawings

Drawings are the most crucial part of a design patent application. All you need is the most precise drawing of your design to make your case stronger and to avoid giving any chances to your competitors. It is pretty evident by now that they need to comply with the patent drawing rules by the USPTO or respective patent office. It is strictly suggested to involve a patent attorney in case of design patent drawings, as they can save you a lot in the long run.