The Requirements For A Patent Drawing

When you are filing a patent, you may be required to submit drawings. If so, the drawings will need to be in the correct format for your patent to be accepted. If you're not sure if your drawings are in the right format, you will want to consult with a patent lawyer for advice.

Color of the Drawing

The patent drawing needs to be drawn in black-and-white. You should ideally use India ink or the equivalent. In some cases, you'll want to submit a colored drawing if it is necessary to communicate the subject matter. However, colored drawings are not allowed for international patents. The paper must be white or A4 paper. It must not have creases or folds and must be durable. It must not have erasures or other defects. 

The Drawing Style

The drawing must be to scale when the illustration is reduced to two-thirds the size. You may submit drawings that depict the invention from different angles so that you can fully depict the invention.

The Text

The drawing must include text such as the name of the invention, the name of the inventor, and the application number. You must also provide a brief description of the drawing. If there is nothing wrong with the drawing itself, mistakes with the brief description are the most common reasons for the application to not be accepted.


You may also include photographs in some cases but this should only be if you are not able to adequately depict the invention with the use of drawings. The photograph must be of sufficient quality to support your patent claim. If the photograph is allowed, you will typically need to submit a black and white photograph. However, if there is a reason why the photograph must be in color, you may receive permission for that.

Graphic Form

Your drawing might include a graphic form such as a table, mathematical formulae, or waveform. Each waveform needs to be presented as a single figure. 

Fortunately, if you aren't sure if your drawings are correct, you can always have them examined by a patent lawyer. The patent lawyer can also assist you in identifying any other problems that might exist with your patent application such as an unintentional patent disclosure. This occurs when you send the patent application to the wrong office such as the copyright office. By avoiding making patent mistakes, you can save money and time. 

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