Can I File for a Patent Without Providing Drawings or Diagrams?

Submitting a patent application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is not as straightforward as it may seem. In addition to the specification, a patent application is required to contain drawings if the drawings are necessary to understand the subject matter to be patented. The drawings should show all the features of the invention as specified in the claims. Drawings are an important component of the general description of a patent.

The features shown in the patent figures support the claims. In general, you can't claim a feature that doesn't appear in the drawings. Although this is the ideal approach, it's quite common for additional requirements to be added during the process that weren't included in the original submission. This particular type of continuation only applies to design patent applications, since a CPA is considered a request to abandon the old application and have the new application take its place. Therefore, any drawings necessary for understanding the invention MUST be submitted together with the application at the time of filing. If you can write your own patent application, you can also draft your own patent drawings.

For as long as I can remember, in order for a non-provisional utility patent application to be granted on its most important filing date, a specification had to be submitted that adequately described the invention, at least one patent claim and at least one drawing if a drawing facilitated understanding of the invention. I'm sure you'll agree that simply submitting applications is not enough and what I often see when inventors (and sometimes even patent professionals) file them for the first time are overly broad claims. In fact, in the case of a non-provisional patent, a drawing must be provided to better explain and outline the topic related to the patent application. It's much easier to add applications without adding new material, so if you want to file a patent application with no claims, that's fine. I can't stress enough how much I've had to educate inventors about why any effort that doesn't take into account the final legal element of actual claims is wasted effort. Filing quality patent drawings also helps establish priority of invention with an earlier filing date, which is important in countries that are first-to-file such as the United States.

Since most patent applications have two or more sheets of drawings, you can easily pay hundreds of dollars per patent application. Following USPTO's patent drawing rules will also help the patent examiner determine if your invention is not obvious and if it is novel. If you need help with patent processing rules, you can post your question or concern on UpCounsel's marketplace. Understanding how to file for a patent without providing drawings or diagrams of your invention is essential for any inventor looking to protect their intellectual property.

Mitchell Michniak
Mitchell Michniak

Hipster-friendly coffeeaholic. Total coffee junkie. Subtly charming pop culture specialist. Internet scholar. Certified tv aficionado.

Leave a Comment

All fileds with * are required