When seeking intellectual property protection for new inventions, companies are often asked to submit explanatory illustrations that accompany the patent applications. But while some applicants view this is a mere administrative hassle, IP Watchdog founder Gene Quinn recently suggested that these simple drawings could prove valuable in the long term.
"Based on my experience I can say that a patent drawing is almost always required, or at the very least you would do well to understand the rule, as a patent drawing is virtually always required," Quinn explained. "There is almost always at least some illustration that could assist the reader (and patent examiner), and the drawings are a part of overall disclosure.
Thorough and detailed illustrations can provide a safety net in future patent defenses, according to Quinn, and it may be wise to seek third-party expertise to verify compliance with U.S. Patent and Trade Office regulations. Getting this process right the first time and achieving first-to-file status can be especially important in dynamic, technical industries.
Last week, Apple submitted a detailed illustration of how it plans to adapt magnetic power cables used on its laptop computers for compatibility with mobile devices. As seen on Apple Insider, the drawings depict how the current construction of iPhone and iPad charging systems will be refined to guard against liquids accidentally entering connectivity ports and damaging devices.