Why Realistic Shading will Reduce USPTO Rejections


18 Feb

Why Realistic Shading will Reduce Rejections

Design patents are granted on the premise that the drawings that depict the matter’s innovations are accurate, true to life representations of the physical form of the object. Representing the true isometric silhouette, intricate details, hidden areas of the form, and figure-to-figure consistency are the basics to building design patent. What depicts the shape and nature of an object is the surface shading applied. Applying accurate line shading goes beyond the USPTO 37 CFR 1.84 Standards for drawings.

Lines shading is more than style, it is an art form

It is critical that patent illustrators are mindful of light and its shadow properties in design patents. Too often technical patent illustrators will neglect the necessity for a 45 degree light source, and freely shade their figures with little attention to this significant aspect. If you are drawing the figures for a spherical object, simply adding a handful arcs or curved lines inside the ring of a circle hardly demonstrates the light source that guides the examiner in defining the shape of that surface.

Is it convex or concave? Is a flat area represented? Does it have an equal radius around the perimeter? By using accelerated spacing and proper shadow placements, patent illustrators can define a surface with the aid of only a single figure, not having to use multiple to understand the volume of the form.

Reducing Rejections and Office Actions

A poorly shaded design patent may get approved for design patent illustrations, figure-to-figure consistency is king, and a lack of it will get you an office action. A properly shaded side view will be able to translate information back to the top view, allowing the examiner to better understand the subtle nuances of the patent. When the light source gets ignored, shading patterns differ from figure to figure, and the examiner will have a higher probability of misinterpreting a figures shape.

The Legal Advantage

Legal Advantage employs career graphic artists, engineers, and industrial designers as our patent illustrators and client liaisons. By sharing professional experiences, and industry skill sets, our designers are able to cross mentor and gain applicable knowledge from each other, and apply this knowledge to the needs of the patent world.

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