Sent: Tuesday, December 07, 1999 8:26 PM
Subject: Drawing rule changes
My Dad (age91) and I practice as patent agents, and I have been with the firm since 1971. The firm was started by Mr. Lehmann, Sr. in 1955, same location for 40 years+.
I have just reviewed an article in INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY TODAY, DECEMBER, 1999, and must disagree with the theme set forth therein.
All too often have we run into PTO-948 rejections, where the Examiner who prepares the form is no longer available, and where another Draftsman looks at the drawings, and cannot find what is wrong with them. Incidentally, we have been sending beautiful drawings to the PTO for years. Contrary to the article, I believe the burden of making certain that the drawings are correct technically, falls solely, and wholly, on the agent/attorney, not the Draftsman. We routinely correct our Draftsman's oversights, so that what leaves the office is technically correct to the best of our knowledge and belief.
We have even dealt with drawings which were smudged at the PTO: we had to supply the new drawings, because the source of the smudge was not apparent; Again, I must emphasize that the drawings we send in from our office are indeed, beautiful. They are checked and re-checked by us. I never understood the excessive use of the green PTO forms, especially where the nature of the alleged deficiency was "lines not uniformly thick", or the like.
I fully support a relaxation of the drawing requirements. The present system is outdated and needs competent review by a panel who understands patent drawings practices and procedures.
Incidentally, CAD drawings, in my opinion, can often fall far short of hand-drawn figures, because of greatly improved surface contour and shading that a skilled draftsman can impart to an object. Look at the Design requirements, where each surface must have some shading. Indeed, some hand-drawn Design drawings are beautiful. I use that word beautiful, because it is the only word which fulfills the character of the work of art. It is time to revise the OD office. Drawings that are pencil, or sloppy, obviously do not suffice. A slight copy machine mark here or there, or a slight sectioning deviation should be permitted, as long as the entire drawing is neatly done, with care, and checked for accuracy.
Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely, Ken Gibner Lehmann, Reg. No. 26,294; Herb Lehmann, Reg. No. 17,900.