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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.
Provisional and Non Provisional Drawings Understanding the Differences February 2009 Legal Advantage 4330 East-West Highway Suite 304 Bethesda, Maryland 20814 301.637.6180 Sales@legaladvantage.net www.LegalAdvantage.net 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. Legal Advantage 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. Legal Advantage About Legal Advantage Legal Advantage provides the highest quality output in a timely fashion to IP professionals, attorneys and law firms. Our experienced and trained team can prepare drawings in a broad range of technical fields, as per the guidelines of the USPTO, the European Patent Organiza- tion (EPO) and other international patent offices. Our staff consists of IP attorneys, graphic designers, patent designers, prior art researchers and engineers who are well versed in the intellectual property laws and procedures of various countries. After analyzing the invention for disclosure, our experts conduct in-depth searches for prior art. Our prior art search is cost effective and guarantees high quality research when compared to other organizations. Our team understands the US patent laws and technologies and has expert knowledge in this field. We give priority to quality and follow a strict and comprehen- sive Quality Assurance program. After being quality checked by our accomplished managers and technical team, the project is sent to the client. Our turn-around time is one of the fastest in the industry. We work around client deadlines and have built an excellent reputation for speed and quality. We have successfully completed 15,000 projects in the past seven years, and aim to finish the same number in the next two years. Legal Advantage offers the following services: Intellectual Property services: • Patent Illustrations • Patent Drawings • Patent Proof Reading • Prior Art Search Legal services: • Contract Management and Drafting • Document Review, which consists of Litigation Review and Merger & Acquisition Review • Immigration Services • E-Discovery • Legal Research • Securities Exchange Commission Services Animation Services: • Trial Graphics • 2D and 3D Animations • Pie charts and Flow charts For more information on our services please visit us at www.legaladvantage.net
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