Sent: Monday, December 06, 1999 12:23 PM
Subject: Proposed Rules for Formal Patent Drawings
My name is Charles E. Wyatt. I have been employed by Connolly Bove Lodge & Hutz LLP for 42 years as a patent draftsman and 30+ years as a patent searcher. I also have freelanced for most major corporations in the State of Delaware.
I have noticed the PTO's reduction in patent drawing standards for the last 15 to 20 years. Many of these changes reduced the high artistic standards used to illustrate patents.
The broad wording in the PTO's patent drawing rules is absolutely deplorable.
Patent drawings should fell the story of an invention on their own merits, separate from the detailed description. Surface shading and shadow lines of an ink drawing very much amplify the meaning of good patent illustrations.
The PTO seems to believe that an issued patent stands on the merit of the Claims and the Detailed Description. However, I would tike to bring to the PTO's attention that many a patent application riddled with Rule 112 objections have been saved by the support of well prepared patent drawings.
Good, understandable patent drawings can be invaluable in patent litigation. Patent attorneys are now becoming aware of recent poorly illustrated patent drawings. In many cases, there drawings are prepared by a draftsperson that is untrained by a competent patent draftsperson (illustrator).
Hopefully your Patent Design Division will insist on high standards for Rule 37 CFR 1.84 for patent drawing preparation.