1.84 Standards for drawings 

  • (a) Drawings. There are two acceptable categories for presenting drawings in utility and design patent applications.

    • (1) Black ink. Black and white drawings are normally required. India ink, or its equivalent that secures solid black lines, must be used for drawings; or

    • (2) Color. Colour drawings are permitted in design applications. Where a design application contains colour drawings, the application must include the number of sets of colour drawings required by paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of this section and the specification must contain the reference required by paragraph (a)(2)(iii) of this section. On rare occasions, colour drawings may be necessary as the only practical medium by which to disclose the subject matter sought to be patented in a utility patent application. The colour drawings must be of sufficient quality such that all details in the drawings are reproducible in black and white in the printed patent. Colour drawings are not permitted in international applications (see PCT Rule 11.13). The Office will accept colour drawings in utility patent applications only after granting a petition filed under this paragraph explaining why the colour drawings are necessary. Any such petition must include the following:

      • (i) The fee set forth in § 1.17(h) ;

      • (ii) One (1) set of colour drawings if submitted via the Office electronic filing system or three (3) sets of colour drawings if not submitted via the Office electronic filing system; and

      • (iii) An amendment to the specification to insert (unless the specification contains or has been previously amended to contain) the following language as the first paragraph of the brief description of the drawings:

        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.

  • (b) Photographs.—

    • (1) Black and white. Photographs, including photocopies of photographs, are not ordinarily permitted in utility and design patent applications. The Office will accept photographs in utility and design patent applications, however, if photographs are the only practicable medium for illustrating the claimed invention. For example, photographs or photomicrographs of electrophoresis gels, blots ( e.g., immunological, western, southern, and northern), autoradiographs, cell cultures (stained and unstained), histological tissue cross-sections (stained and unstained), animals, plants, in vivo imaging, thin-layer chromatography plates, crystalline structures, and, in a design patent application, ornamental effects, are acceptable. If the subject matter of the application admits of illustration by a drawing, the examiner may require a drawing in place of the photograph. The photographs must be of sufficient quality so that all details in the photographs are reproducible in the printed patent.

    • (2) Color photographs. Colour photographs will be accepted in utility and design patent applications if the conditions for accepting colour drawings and black and white photographs have been satisfied. See paragraphs (a)(2) and (b)(1) of this section.

  • (c) Identification of drawings. Identifying indicia should be provided, and if provided, should include the title of the invention, inventor’s name, and application number, or docket number (if any) if an application number has not been assigned to the application. If this information is provided, it must be placed on the front of each sheet within the top margin. Each drawing sheet submitted after the filing date of an application must be identified as either "Replacement Sheet" or "New Sheet" pursuant to § 1.121(d). If a marked-up copy of any amended drawing figure including annotations indicating the changes made is filed, such marked-up copy must be clearly labelled as "Annotated Sheet" pursuant to § 1.121(d)(1).

  • (d) Graphic forms in drawings. Chemical or mathematical formulae, tables, and waveforms may be submitted as drawings, and are subject to the same requirements as drawings. Each chemical or mathematical formula must be labelled as a separate figure, using brackets when necessary, to show that information is properly integrated. Each group of waveforms must be presented as a single figure, using a common vertical axis with time extending along the horizontal axis. Each individual waveform discussed in the specification must be identified with a separate letter designation adjacent to the vertical axis.

  • (e) Type of paper. Drawings submitted to the Office must be made on paper that is flexible, strong, white, smooth, non-shiny, and durable. All sheets must be reasonably free from cracks, creases, and folds. Only one side of the sheet may be used for the drawing. Each sheet must be reasonably free from erasures and must be free from alterations, over writings, and interlineations. Photographs must be developed on paper meeting the sheet-size requirements of paragraph (f) of this section and the margin requirements of paragraph (g) of this section. See paragraph (b) of this section for other requirements for photographs.

  • (f) Size of paper. All drawing sheets in an application must be the same size. One of the shorter sides of the sheet is regarded as its top. The size of the sheets on which drawings are made must be:

    • (1) 21.0 cm. by 29.7 cm. (DIN size A4), or

    • (2) 21.6 cm. by 27.9 cm. (8 1/2 by 11 inches).

  • (g) Margins. The sheets must not contain frames around the sight ( i.e., the usable surface), but should have scan target points ( i.e., cross-hairs) printed on two catercorner margin corners. Each sheet must include a top margin of at least 2.5 cm. (1 inch), a left side margin of at least 2.5 cm. (1 inch), a right side margin of at least 1.5 cm. (5/8 inch), and a bottom margin of at least 1.0 cm. (3/8 inch), thereby leaving a sight no greater than 17.0 cm. by 26.2 cm. on 21.0 cm. by 29.7 cm. (DIN size A4) drawing sheets, and a sight no greater than 17.6 cm. by 24.4 cm. (6 15/16 by 9 5/8 inches) on 21.6 cm. by 27.9 cm. (8 1/2 by 11 inch) drawing sheets.

  • (h) Views. The drawing must contain as many views as necessary to show the invention. The views may be a plan, elevation, section, or perspective views. Detail views of portions of elements, on a larger scale, if necessary, may also be used. All views of the drawing must be grouped together and arranged on the sheet(s) without wasting space, preferably in an upright position, clearly separated from one another, and must not be included in the sheets containing the specifications, claims, or abstract. Views must not be connected by projection lines and must not contain centre lines. Waveforms of electrical signals may be connected by dashed lines to show the relative timing of the waveforms.

    • (1) Exploded views. Exploded views, with the separated parts embraced by a bracket, to show the relationship or order of assembly of various parts is permissible. When an exploded view is shown in a figure which is on the same sheet as another figure, the exploded view should be placed in brackets.

    • (2) Partial views. When necessary, a view of a large machine or device in its entirety may be broken into partial views on a single sheet or extended over several sheets if there is no loss in the facility of understanding the view. Partial views drawn on separate sheets must always be capable of being linked edge to edge so that no partial view contains parts of another partial view. A smaller-scale view should be included showing the whole formed by the partial views and indicating the positions of the parts shown. When a portion of a view is enlarged for magnification purposes, the view and the enlarged view must each be labelled as separate views.

      • (i) Where views on two or more sheets form, in effect, a single complete view, the views on the several sheets must be so arranged that the complete figure can be assembled without concealing any part of any of the views appearing on the various sheets.

      • (ii) A very long view may be divided into several parts placed one above the other on a single sheet. However, the relationship between the different parts must be clear and unambiguous.

    • (3) Sectional views. The plane upon which a sectional view is taken should be indicated on the view from which the section is cut by a broken line. The ends of the broken line should be designated by Arabic or Roman numerals corresponding to the view number of the sectional view and should have arrows to indicate the direction of sight. Hatching must be used to indicate section portions of an object and must be made by regularly spaced oblique parallel lines spaced sufficiently apart to enable the lines to be distinguished without difficulty. Hatching should not impede the clear reading of the reference characters and lead lines. If it is not possible to place reference characters outside the hatched area, the hatching may be broken off wherever reference characters are inserted. Hatching must be at a substantial angle to the surrounding axes or principal lines, preferably 45°. A cross-section must be set out and drawn to show all of the materials as they are shown in the view from which the cross-section was taken. The parts in cross-section must show proper material(s) by hatching with regularly spaced parallel oblique strokes, the space between strokes being chosen on the basis of the total area to be hatched. The various parts of a cross-section of the same item should be hatched in the same manner and should accurately and graphically indicate the nature of the material(s) that is illustrated in the cross-section. The hatching of juxtaposed different elements must be angled in a different way. In the case of large areas, hatching may be confined to an edging drawn around the entire inside of the outline of the area to be hatched. Different types of hatching should have different conventional meanings as regards the nature of a material seen in cross-section.

    • (4) Alternate position. A moved position may be shown by a broken line superimposed upon a suitable view if this can be done without crowding; otherwise, a separate view must be used for this purpose.

    • (5) Modified forms. Modified forms of construction must be shown in separate views.

  • (i) Arrangement of views. One view must not be placed upon another or within the outline of another. All views on the same sheet should stand in the same direction and, if possible, stand so that they can be read with the sheet held in an upright position. If views wider than the width of the sheet are necessary for the clearest illustration of the invention, the sheet may be turned on its side so that the top of the sheet, with the appropriate top margin to be used as the heading space, is on the right-hand side. Words must appear in a horizontal, left-to-right fashion when the page is either upright or turned so that the top becomes the right side, except for graphs utilizing standard scientific convention to denote the axis of abscissas (of X) and the axis of ordinates (of Y).

  • (j) Front page view. The drawing must contain as many views as necessary to show the invention. One of the views should be suitable for inclusion on the front page of the patent application publication and patent as the illustration of the invention. Views must not be connected by projection lines and must not contain centre lines. The applicant may suggest a single view (by figure number) for inclusion on the front page of the patent application publication and patent.

  • (k) Scale. The scale to which a drawing is made must be large enough to show the mechanism without crowding when the drawing is reduced in size to two-thirds in reproduction. Indications such as "actual size" or "scale 1/2" on the drawings are not permitted since these lose their meaning with reproduction in a different format.

  • (l) Character of lines, numbers, and letters. All drawings must be made by a process that will give them satisfactory reproduction characteristics. Every line, number, and letter must be durable, clean, black (except for colour drawings), sufficiently dense and dark, and uniformly thick and well-defined. The weight of all lines and letters must be heavy enough to permit adequate reproduction. This requirement applies to all lines however fine, to shading, and to lines representing cut surfaces in sectional views. Lines and strokes of different thicknesses may be used in the same drawing where different thicknesses have a different meaning.

  • (m) Shading. The use of shading in views is encouraged if it aids in understanding the invention and if it does not reduce legibility. Shading is used to indicate the surface or shape of spherical, cylindrical, and conical elements of an object. Flat parts may also be lightly shaded. Such shading is preferred in the case of parts shown in perspective, but not for cross-sections. See paragraph (h)(3) of this section. Spaced lines for shading are preferred. These lines must be thin, as few in number as practicable, and they must contrast with the rest of the drawings. As a substitute for shading, heavy lines on the shade side of objects can be used except where they superimpose on each other or obscure reference characters. The light should come from the upper left corner at an angle of 45°. Surface delineations should preferably be shown by proper shading. Solid black shading areas are not permitted, except when used to represent bar graphs or colour.

  • (n) Symbols. Graphical drawing symbols may be used for conventional elements when appropriate. The elements for which such symbols and labelled representations are used must be adequately identified in the specification. Known devices should be illustrated by symbols that have a universally recognized conventional meaning and are generally accepted in art. Other symbols which are not universally recognized may be used, subject to approval by the Office, if they are not likely to be confused with existing conventional symbols, and if they are readily identifiable.

  • (o) Legends. Suitable descriptive legends may be used subject to approval by the Office or may be required by the examiner where necessary for an understanding of the drawing. They should contain as few words as possible.

  • (p) Numbers, letters, and reference characters.

    • (1) Reference characters (numerals are preferred), sheet numbers, and view numbers must be plain and legible, and must not be used in association with brackets or inverted commas, or enclosed within outlines, e.g., encircled. They must be oriented in the same direction as the view so as to avoid having to rotate the sheet. Reference characters should be arranged to follow the profile of the object depicted.

    • (2) The English alphabet must be used for letters, except where another alphabet is customarily used, such as the Greek alphabet to indicate angles, wavelengths, and mathematical formulas.

    • (3) Numbers, letters, and reference characters must measure at least .32 cm. (1/8 inch) in height. They should not be placed in the drawing so as to interfere with its comprehension. Therefore, they should not cross or mingle with the lines. They should not be placed upon hatched or shaded surfaces. When necessary, such as indicating a surface or cross-section, a reference character may be underlined and a blank space may be left in the hatching or shading where the character occurs so that it appears distinct.

    • (4) The same part of an invention appearing in more than one view of the drawing must always be designated by the same reference character, and the same reference character must never be used to designate different parts.

    • (5) Reference characters not mentioned in the description shall not appear in the drawings. Reference characters mentioned in the description must appear in the drawings.

  • (q) Lead lines. Lead lines are those lines between the reference characters and the details referred to. Such lines may be straight or curved and should be as short as possible. They must originate in the immediate proximity of the reference character and extend to the feature indicated. Lead lines must not cross each other. Lead lines are required for each reference character except for those which indicate the surface or cross-section on which they are placed. Such a reference character must be underlined to make it clear that a lead line has not been left out by mistake. Lead lines must be executed in the same way as lines in the drawing. See paragraph (l) of this section.

  • (r) Arrows. Arrows may be used at the ends of the lines, provided that their meaning is clear, as follows:

    • (1) On a lead line, a freestanding arrow to indicate the entire section towards which it points;

    • (2) On a lead line, an arrow touching a line to indicate the surface shown by the line looking along the direction of the arrow; or

    • (3) To show the direction of movement.

  • (s) Copyright or Mask Work Notice. A copyright or mask work notice may appear in the drawing, but must be placed within the sight of the drawing immediately below the figure representing the copyright or mask work material and be limited to letters having a print size of .32 cm. to .64 cm. (1/8 to 1/4 inches) high. The content of the notice must be limited to only those elements provided for by law. For example, "©1983 John Doe" (17 U.S.C. 401) and "*M* John Doe" (17 U.S.C. 909) would be properly limited and, under current statutes, legally sufficient notices of copyright and mask work, respectively. Inclusion of a copyright or mask work notice will be permitted only if the authorization language set forth in § 1.71(e) is included at the beginning (preferably as the first paragraph) of the specification.

  • (t) Numbering of sheets of drawings. The sheets of drawings should be numbered in consecutive Arabic numerals, starting with 1, within the sight as defined in paragraph (g) of this section. These numbers, if present, must be placed in the middle of the top of the sheet, but not in the margin. The numbers can be placed on the right-hand side if the drawing extends too close to the middle of the top edge of the usable surface. The drawing sheet numbering must be clear and larger than the numbers used as reference characters to avoid confusion. The number of each sheet should be shown by two Arabic numerals placed on either side of an oblique line, with the first being the sheet number and the second being the total number of sheets of drawings, with no other marking.

  • (u) Numbering of views.

    • (1) The different views must be numbered in consecutive Arabic numerals, starting with 1, independent of the numbering of the sheets and, if possible, in the order in which they appear on the drawing sheet(s). Partial views intended to form one complete view, on one or several sheets, must be identified by the same number followed by a capital letter. View numbers must be preceded by the abbreviation "FIG." Where only a single view is used in an application to illustrate the claimed invention, it must not be numbered and the abbreviation "FIG." must not appear.

    • (2) Numbers and letters identifying the views must be simple and clear and must not be used in association with brackets, circles, or inverted commas. The view numbers must be larger than the numbers used for reference characters.

  • (v) Security markings. Authorized security markings may be placed on the drawings provided they are outside the sight, preferably centred in the top margin.

  • (w) Corrections. Any corrections on drawings submitted to the Office must be durable and permanent.

  • (x) Holes. No holes should be made by the applicant in the drawing sheets.

  • (y) Types of drawings. See § 1.152 for design drawings, § 1.1026 for international design reproductions, § 1.165 for plant drawings, and § 1.173(a)(2) for reissue drawings.

A. Purpose

The Design classification schedule of the USPC system provides a structured organization for the body of U.S. Design patents. Since the claim of a Design Patent is directed to "an ornamental design" for "an article of manufacture" [35 USC 171], the Design classification schedule promotes efficient access to industrial designs that have been granted patent rights.

B. Theory

Classification of design patents is based on the concept of function or intended use of the industrial design disclosed and claimed in the Design patent. Industrial designs that have the same function are generally collected in the same Design class, even though individual designs may be used in different environments.

For example, patented designs for seating are classified in class D6, Furnishings, even though these designs may be used in the home, workplace, vehicles, etc. Industrial designs of the same function are further classified by specific functional feature, distinctive ornamental appearance, or form.


C. Design Patent Classes

U.S. Design patents are classified into 33 classes of subject matter:  U.S. DESIGN CLASSES

D1 Edible Products
D2 Apparel and Haberdashery
D3 Travel Goods, Personal Belongings, and Storage or Carrying Articles
D4 Brushware
D5 Textile or Paper Yard Goods; Sheet Material
D6 Furnishings
D7 Equipment for Preparing or Serving Food or Drink Not Elsewhere Specified
D8 Tools and Hardware
D9 Packages and Containers for Goods
D10 Measuring, Testing or Signaling Instruments
D11 Jewelry, Symbolic Insignia, and Ornaments
D12 Transportation
D13 Equipment for Production, Distribution, or Transformation of Energy
D14 Recording, Communication, or Information Retrieval Equipment
D15 Machines Not Elsewhere Specified
D16 Photography and Optical Equipment
D17 Musical Instruments
D18 Printing and Office Machinery
D19 Office Supplies; Artists' and Teachers' Materials
D20 Sales and Advertising Equipment
D21 Games, Toys and Sports Goods
D22 Arms, Pyrotechnics, Hunting and Fishing Equipment
D23 Environmental Heating and Cooling, Fluid Handling and Sanitary Equipment
D24 Medical and Laboratory Equipment
D25 Building Units and Construction Elements
D26 Lighting
D27 Tobacco and Smokers' Supplies
D28 Cosmetic Products and Toilet Articles
D29 Equipment for Safety, Protection and Rescue
D30 Animal Husbandry
D32 Washing, Cleaning or Drying Machines
D34 Material or Article Handling Equipment
D99 Miscellaneous

Country codes consist of two letters (e.g. GB) indicating the country or organisation where the patent application was filed or granted.

AL Albania

AP African Regional Industrial Property Organization

AR Argentina

AT Austria

AU Australia

BA Bosnia and Herzegovina

BE Belgium

BG Bulgaria

BR Brazil

CA Canada

CH Switzerland

CL Chile

CN China

CO Colombia

CR Costa Rica

CS Czechoslovakia (up to 1993)

CU Cuba

CY Cyprus

CZ Czech Republic

DD German Democratic Republic

DE Germany

DK Denmark

DZ Algeria

EA Eurasian Patent Organization

EC Ecuador

EE Estonia

EG Egypt

EP European Patent Office

ES Spain

FI Finland

FR France

GB United Kingdom

GC Gulf Cooperation Council

GE Georgia

GR Greece

GT Guatemala

HK Hong Kong (S.A.R.)

HR Croatia

HU Hungary

ID Indonesia

IE Ireland

IL Israel

IN India

IS Iceland

IT Italy

JP Japan

KE Kenya

KR Korea (South)

LI Liechtenstein

LT Lithuania

LU Luxembourg

LV Latvia

MA Morocco

MC Monaco

MD Republic of Moldova

ME Montenegro

MK Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

MN Mongolia

MT Malta

MW Malawi

MX Mexico

MY Malaysia

NC New Caledonia

NI Nicaragua

NL Netherlands

NO Norway

NZ New Zealand

OA African Intellectual Property Organization

PA Panama

PE Peru

PH Philippines

PL Poland

PT Portugal

RO Romania

RS Serbia

RU Russian Federation

SE Sweden

SG Singapore

SI Slovenia

SK Slovakia

SM San Marino

SU Soviet Union (USSR)

SV El Salvador



TTTrinidad and Tobago



USUnited States of America


VNViet Nam

WOWorld Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

YUYugoslavia/Serbia and Montenegro

ZASouth Africa