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Provisional and Non Provisional Drawings

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Drawings are the foundation of any patent application, whether it is a provisional or non provisional application. Therefore, it is imperative to abide by the guidelines of the USPTO to ensure that the drawings are clear and the patent passes examination.

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									Provisional and Non Provisional Drawings
Understanding the Differences
February 2009




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                                                 Provisional vs. Non Provisional



                  Drawings are the foundation of any patent application, whether it is a
                  provisional or non provisional application. Therefore, it is imperative to abide
                  by the guidelines of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
                  to ensure that the drawings are clear and the patent passes examination.


                  To understanding the differences between the two drawing approaches, we first
                  need to know what provisional and non-provisional patent applications are.


                  Provisional patent application basics:

                          • Provisional patent applications require a low USPTO filing fee
                          and are less expensive than the regular non provisional patent
                          applications.

                          • Provisional patent applications last only for 12 months. You still
                          have to file a non provisional patent application within 12 months
                          of your provisional application in order to retain the advantage of
                          the provisional’s filing date. This is just like filing an extension on
                          your tax return; you still need to pay the taxes and file real tax returns.

                          • Claims are not required for a provisional patent application.

                          • Provisional applications are not examined. A follow-on non
                          provisional goes to the back of the examination line. So if you are
                          racing against time and want your patent issued quickly,
                          a provisional application is not ideal.

                  To be successful, any provisional application must include thorough details
                  of the invention, just as in a non provisional application.



                  Non provisional patent application basics:

                          • A non provisional application establishes the filing date of your
                          patent application and begins the examination process by the USPTO.

                          • Non provisional applications are comprised of a specification
                          (description and claims), an oath or declaration, a drawing (when
                          necessary), and a fee.




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                                             Provisional vs. Non Provisional

                  Patent illustration drawings are critical and can determine the
                  success of any patent application. Therefore, it is important that
                  all drawings are in accordance with USPTO rules.


                  By law, all patent applicants are required to provide a draw-
                  ing of the invention if it increases the understanding of the
                  invention. Exceptions may include for matter compositions or
                  processes where drawings are irrelevant for comprehension.




                  The drawings also differ depending on the type of
                  patent application.
                          • Most drawings for a provisional application are drawn
                          by the inventor or an attorney, and are usually rendered
                          in an unsophisticated manner.

                          • Provisional drawings can be photographs, hand
                          drawings, CAD drawings, or clean line art with hand-
                          drawn numbers and leader lines.

                          • A typical provisional artwork will have the inventor’s
                          signature on it to prove the date of the invention.

                          • Non provisional drawings are usually drawn by an
                          illustrator and filed with an application usually written
                          by a patent attorney.

                          • Non provisional drawings must detail every attribute
                          of the invention specified in the claims. The drawings
                          must adhere to the USPTO’s specifications including
                          paper size, paper type, margin widths, and other details.
                          These explicit details are for overall uniformity when
                          the patent is issued and published.

                          • According to the USPTO, no names or labels are
                          permitted near the drawing. Applicants are expected
                          to use the space in the top margin to identify each
                          sheet of drawings. This identification may consist of the
                          attorney’s name, docket number, the inventor’s name,
                          application number, and/or page numbers.




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