EPO Patent Drawing Rules
All patent offices have their patent drawing rules that should be followed stringently while filing the patent applications. We will discuss the EPO Patent Drawing Rules requirements of the European Patent Office.
EPO (European patent Office) has set patent drawing rules for drawings, photographs, diagrams, and flowsheets that you must follow while generating drawings for the patent application. If you do not follow the patent drawing rules, you might get the unnecessary objections from the examiner. These unnecessary objections will increase grant time for your patent. A great patent drawing is one that doesn’t raise any examiner query. And for a set of great patent drawings, you need an expert patent illustrator.
Also Read: Germany Patent Drawings Rule
EPO Patent Drawing rules: Important Points
You must follow EPO Patent Drawing Rules for cutting down office actions, saving costs, time, and efforts. Following patent drawings rules are the source for first-hand rejection of the patent drawings and thus your patent application:
Color Drawing Rules of European Patent Office
Black and White Patent Drawings:
As per the EPO patent drawing rules, the EPO requires black and white drawings. You can use black printing ink such as India ink when you are printing the drawings on paper. You need to make sure that when the drawings are made using any software, the drawings are generated using only black color. It is to be noted that the other colors when printed in black and white can give different shades of grey color.
Black and White Photographs:
Photographs are possible as per the EPO Patent Drawing Rules solely when they are the only available medium for illustration of the invention. The examples of photograph eligible patent illustrations could be chemical structures, cell structures, or beauty products, etc.
It is to be noted that the photographs should be of high quality so that they can print every detail when they are printed in black and white format.
A Color photograph is acceptable only when you satisfy the conditions for the acceptance of black and white photographs. Also, the color photograph should satisfy the condition of color drawings.
You must use color drawings only when you have no other choice. The color drawings’ quality should be very high. The examiner or the patent office should be able to print every detail of the color drawing in black and white format. Please note that the color drawings are prohibited in international applications. They may be allowed only when they are the only medium to express the details of the invention.
If you wish to use color drawings in your application, you must file a petition with the EPO. Your petition must explain the significance of the color drawings. The EPO patent drawing rules allow color drawings only after the grant of the petition.
The inclusions of color drawing petition are:
- Petition Filing fee.
- A black and white photocopy of the color drawing with similar details and 3 sets of color drawings.
- Your drawing description must include the following paragraph: “The patent or application file contains at least one drawing executed in color. Copies of this patent or patent application publication with color drawing(s) will be provided by the Office upon request and payment of the necessary fee”.
Drawing Identifications rules of the EPO
The Drawing Identification must include:
- Title of the invention.
- Name of the Inventor.
- Application number/Docket number.
You must place this information on the front page and align it to the center with the top margin.
Size of the Sheet as per EPO Patent Drawing Rules
All the drawing sheets must have same size. You must stick to any of the following dimensions:
- 21.0 * 29.7 cm, or
- 21.6 * 27.9 cm
The weight of the paper should be 80-120 g/m2 (gsm).
Paper Type for EPO Patent Drawings
Your drawing paper must be flexible, durable, white, non-shiny, and smooth. Do not use sheets with folds and creases. Further, you must only one side of the sheet. You must try to avoid erasure marks, overwriting, and alterations.
Paper Margins rules in EPO Patent Drawings
All sheets of your EPO patent drawings must follow the following margin scale:
- The top margin of 2.5 cm.
- Left side margin of 2.5 cm.
- Right side margin of 1.5 cm.
- The bottom margin of 1.0 cm.
Types of Views:
Your drawing should include all orthogonal views of the invention i.e. top view, Bottom view, Side view, Front view, Back view, etc.
Also, you must include one or more perspective views of the invention. Further, try to keep one view on a sheet. However, you are permitted to include more views on a sheet. We do not recommend more than 2 views on a sheet for better clarity. In addition, try to avoid wasting sheets, keep the position, and maintain a proper gap between the views.
NOTE: Do not use similar sheets for views and claims.
Some other important views are included below. These views become important when you need to give more specific details about your invention.
Exploded views show the working, order, or relationship of an assembly of different parts. You must place an exploded view within the brackets. Read Patent Drawing Exploded Views for more information on exploded views.
A sectional view is used to show a hidden area or part of an object by cutting/removing some of the parts of that object. The cutting line is termed as cutting plane. Read Patent Drawing Sectional Views for more details.
Use of Scale in Patent Drawings
You must create a drawing with a scale that shows the mechanism of the invention without crowding. Further, you cannot use indications like actual size or scale 1/2 on the drawings.
Drawing Surface Shading requirements:
Drawing Surface Shading indicates the surface conditions or shape of any object. Spaced lines are preferred for shading. They must be thin, few in number and must contrast with the rest of the drawing. Further, you can also use stippling shading, however, that shading is generally recommended for design patent drawings.
In addition, you must assume the Light coming from the upper left corner at an angle of 45° for shading. Pitch black shading is prohibited. However, you may represent bar graphs with them.
Consider Reading: Patent Drawing Symbols for Draftsmen, the topic includes symbols for surface shading.
- Use the English alphabet for references. However, to depict wavelengths, angles, and formulas, etc. you may use other kinds of alphabets.
- Keep legible reference characters such as sheet or view numbers. You should avoid using brackets or inverted commas.
- Keep the size of Numbers and letters to a minimum of 0.32 cm in height. You must place them at a clear surface and avoid placing them over figures and shades.
- Orient the references in the direction of the drawing view.
You can consider using Graphical drawing symbols for conventional elements. You must use symbols to illustrate devices that bear a conventional meaning around the world and acceptance in the art. The capital letter of the symbol must have a height of 0.21 cm.
Use of Arrows in Drawings
You are allowed to use the arrows at the end of the lines. These arrows are used to indicate the following:
- At the tip of the lead line to indicate the entire section in the direction of the arrow.
- Indicating the direction of movement.
Leadline connects the reference characters and referred details. You must keep the leadlines as small as possible. Lead lines can be straight or curved. It is important to note that the leadlines must not overlap with each other.
Copyright/Mask Work Notice:
If you wish to place a copyright/mask work notice, use it just below the relevant figure. You should keep the size of the letters from 0.32 to 0.64 cm. Further, limit the contents of the notice as per the law.
Furthermore, you must stick to the authorized language to gain a permit for the copyright/mask work notice.
EPO Patent Drawing Rules: Tips
You must take care of some major tips in order to file the application correctly and in accordance with the EPO patent drawing rules. They are:
- Submit durable and permanent correction to the Office.
- Avoid holes in the drawing sheets.
- Number different views and sheets of the drawing with Arabic numerals.
- Place authorized security markings on the top of the page, centered at the top margin.
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