What Are Patents, Trademarks, Servicemarks, and Copyrights?Some people confuse patents, copyrights, and trademarks. Although there may be some similarities among these kinds of intellectual property protection, they are different and serve different purposes.
What is a Patent?A patent for an invention is the grant of a property right to the inventor, issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Generally, the term of a new patent is 20 years from the date on which the application for the patent was filed in the United States or, in special cases, from the date an earlier related application was filed, subject to the payment of maintenance fees. U.S. patent grants are effective only within the United States, U.S. territories, and U.S. possessions. Under certain circumstances, patent term extensions or adjustments may be available. The right conferred by the patent grant is, in the language of the statute and of the grant itself, “the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling” the invention in the United States or “importing” the invention into the United States. What is granted is not the right to make, use, offer for sale, sell or import, but the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, selling or importing the invention. Once a patent is issued, the patentee must enforce the patent without aid of the USPTO. There are three types of patents:
1) Utility patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof; 2) Design patents may be granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture; and 3) Plant patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant.Dallas patent attorney Sam Sokhansanj can help provide you with patent counseling to decide which type of patent application is best suited for your invention.
What Is a Trademark or Servicemark?A trademark is a word, name, symbol, or device that is used in trade with goods to indicate the source of the goods and to distinguish them from the goods of others. A servicemark is the same as a trademark except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product. The terms “trademark” and “mark” are commonly used to refer to both trademarks and servicemarks. Trademark rights may be used to prevent others from using a confusingly similar mark, but not to prevent others from making the same goods or from selling the same goods or services under a clearly different mark. Trademarks that are used in interstate or foreign commerce may be registered with the USPTO. The registration procedure for trademarks and general information concerning trademarks can be found in the separate book entitled “Basic Facts about Trademarks.”(http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/basics/Basic_Facts_Trademarks.jsp).
Dallas patent lawyer Sam Sokhansanj can help provide you with trademark counseling to descide which type of trademark application is best suited for your brand, name, or logo.
What is a Copyright?Copyright is a form of protection provided to the authors of "original works of authorship" including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works, both published and unpublished. The 1976 Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to reproduce the copyrighted work, to prepare derivative works, to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work, to perform the copyrighted work publicly, or to display the copyrighted work publicly. The copyright protects the form of expression rather than the subject matter of the writing. For example, a description of a machine could be copyrighted, but this would only prevent others from copying the description; it would not prevent others from writing a description of their own or from making and using the machine. Copyrights are registered by the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress.
Patent LawsThe Constitution of the United States gives Congress the power to enact laws relating to patents, in Article I, section 8, which reads "Congress shall have power . . . to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries." Under this power Congress has from time to time enacted various laws relating to patents. The first patent law was enacted in 1790. The patent laws underwent a general revision which was enacted July 19, 1952, and which came into effect January 1, 1953. It is codified in Title 35, United States Code. Additionally, on November 29, 1999, Congress enacted the American Inventors Protection Act of 1999 (AIPA), which further revised the patent laws. See Public Law 106-113, 113 Stat. 1501 (1999). The patent law specifies the subject matter for which a patent may be obtained and the conditions for patentability. The law establishes the United States Patent and Trademark Office to administer the law relating to the granting of patents and contains various other provisions relating to patents.
What Can Be PatentedThe patent law specifies the general field of subject matter that can be patented and the conditions under which a patent may be obtained. In the language of the statute, any person who “invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent,” subject to the conditions and requirements of the law. The word “process” is defined by law as a process, act, or method, and primarily includes industrial or technical processes. The term “machine” used in the statute needs no explanation. The term “manufacture” refers to articles that are made, and includes all manufactured articles. The term “composition of matter” relates to chemical compositions and may include mixtures of ingredients as well as new chemical compounds. These classes of subject matter taken together include practically everything that is made by man and the processes for making the products. The Atomic Energy Act of 1954 excludes the patenting of inventions useful solely in the utilization of special nuclear material or atomic energy in an atomic weapon. See 42 U.S.C. 2181(a). The patent law specifies that the subject matter must be “useful.” The term “useful” in this connection refers to the condition that the subject matter has a useful purpose and also includes operativeness, that is, a machine which will not operate to perform the intended purpose would not be called useful, and therefore would not be granted a patent. Interpretations of the statute by the courts have defined the limits of the field of subject matter that can be patented, thus it has been held that the laws of nature, physical phenomena, and abstract ideas are not patentable subject matter. A patent cannot be obtained upon a mere idea or suggestion. The patent is granted upon the new machine, manufacture, etc., as has been said, and not upon the idea or suggestion of the new machine. A complete description of the actual machine or other subject matter for which a patent is sought is required.
Novelty And Non-Obviousness, Conditions For Obtaining A PatentIn order for an invention to be patentable it must be new as defined in the patent law, which provides that an invention cannot be patented if:
“(1) the claimed invention was patented, described in a printed publication, or in public use, on sale, or otherwise available to the public before the effective filing date of the claimed invention” or
“(2) the claimed invention was described in a patent issued [by the U.S.] or in an application for patent published or deemed published [by the U.S.], in which the patent or application, as the case may be, names another inventor and was effectively filed before the effective filing date of the claimed invention.”There are certain limited patent law exceptions to patent prohibitions (1) and (2) above. Notably, an exception may apply to a “disclosure made 1 year or less before the effective filing date of the claimed invention,” but only if “the disclosure was made by the inventor or joint inventor or by another who obtained the subject matter disclosed… from the inventor or a joint inventor.” In patent prohibition (1), the term “otherwise available to the public” refers to other types of disclosures of the claimed invention such as, for example, an oral presentation at a scientific meeting, a demonstration at a trade show, a lecture or speech, a statement made on a radio talk show, a YouTube™ video, or a website or other on-line material. Effective filing date of the claimed invention: This term appears in patent prohibitions (1) and (2). For a U.S. nonprovisional patent application that is the first application containing the claimed subject matter, the term “effective filing date of the claimed invention” means the actual filing date of the U.S. nonprovisional patent application. For a U.S. nonprovisional application that claims the benefit of a corresponding prior-filed U.S. provisional application, “effective filing date of the claimed invention” can be the filing date of the prior-filed provisional application provided the provisional application sufficiently describes the claimed invention. Similarly, for a U.S. nonprovisional application that is a continuation or division of a prior-filed U.S. nonprovisional application, “effective filing date of the claimed invention” can be the filing date of the prior filed nonprovisional application that sufficiently describes the claimed invention. Finally, “effective filing date of the claimed invention” may be the filing date of a prior-filed foreign patent application to which foreign priority is claimed provided the foreign patent application sufficiently describes the claimed invention. Even if the subject matter sought to be patented is not exactly shown by the prior art, and involves one or more differences over the most nearly similar thing already known, a patent may still be refused if the differences would be obvious. The subject matter sought to be patented must be sufficiently different from what has been used or described before that it may be said to be non-obvious to a person having ordinary skill in the area of technology related to the invention. For example, the substitution of one color for another, or changes in size, are ordinarily not patentable.
The United States Patent and Trademark OfficeCongress established the United States Patent and Trademark Office to issue patents on behalf of the government. The Patent Office as a distinct bureau dates from the year 1802 when a separate official in the Department of State, who became known as “Superintendent of Patents,” was placed in charge of patents. The revision of the patent laws enacted in 1836 reorganized the Patent Office and designated the official in charge as Commissioner of Patents. The Patent Office remained in the Department of State until 1849 when it was transferred to the Department of Interior. In 1925 it was transferred to the Department of Commerce where it is today. The name of the Patent Office was changed to the Patent and Trademark Office in 1975 and changed to the United States Patent and Trademark Office in 2000. The USPTO administers the patent laws as they relate to the granting of patents for inventions, and performs other duties relating to patents. Applications for patents are examined to determine if the applicants are entitled to patents under the law and patents are granted when applicants are so entitled. The USPTO publishes issued patents and most patent applications 18 months from the earliest effective application filing date, and makes various other publications concerning patents. The USPTO also records assignments of patents, maintains a search room for the use of the public to examine issued patents and records, and supplies copies of records and other papers, and the like. Similar functions are performed with respect to the registration of trademarks. The USPTO has no jurisdiction over questions of infringement and the enforcement of patents. The head of the Office is the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (Director). The Director’s staff includes the Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce and Deputy Director of the USPTO, the Commissioner for Patents, the Commissioner for Trademarks, and other officials. As head of the Office, the Director superintends or performs all duties respecting the granting and issuing of patents and the registration of trademarks; exercises general supervision over the entire work of the USPTO; prescribes the rules, subject to the approval of the Secretary of Commerce, for the conduct of proceedings in the USPTO, and for recognition of attorneys and agents; decides various questions brought before the Office by petition as prescribed by the rules; and performs other duties necessary and required for the administration of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The work of examining applications for patents is divided among a number of examining technology centers (TCs), each TC having jurisdiction over certain assigned fields of technology. Each TC is headed by group directors and staffed by examiners and support staff. The examiners review applications for patents and determine whether patents can be granted. An appeal can be taken to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board from their decisions refusing to grant a patent, and a review by the Director of the USPTO may be had on other matters by petition. In addition to the examining TCs, other offices perform various services, such as receiving and distributing mail, receiving new applications, handling sales of printed copies of patents, making copies of records, inspecting drawings, and recording assignments. At present, the USPTO has over 12,000 employees, of whom about three quarters are examiners and others with technical and legal training. Patent applications are received at the rate of over 500,000 per year. Effective November 15, 2011, any regular nonprovisional utility application filed by mail or hand-delivery will require payment of an additional $400 fee called the “non-electronic filing fee,” which is reduced by 50 percent (to $200) for applicants that qualify for small entity status under 37 CFR 1.27(a). The 75 percent micro entity discount does not apply to the non-electronic filing fee and consequently the non-electronic filing fee is also $200 for applicants that qualify for micro entity status under 37 CFR 1.29(a) or (d). This fee is required by Section 10(h) of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, Public Law 112-29 (Sept. 16, 2011; 125 Stat. 284). The only way to avoid having to pay the additional $400 non-electronic filing fee is to file the regular nonprovisional utility patent application via EFS-Web.Design, plant, and provisional applications are not subject to the additional non-electronic filing fee and may continue to be filed by mail or hand-delivery without additional charge. See the information available at www.uspto.gov/patents/process/file/efs/index/jsp. Any questions regarding filing applications via EFS-Web should be directed to the Electronic Business Center at 866-217-9197.
General Information and CorrespondenceAll business with the United States Patent and Trademark Office should be transacted in writing. Regular nonprovisional utility applications must be filed via EFS-Web in order to avoid the additional $400 non-electronic filing fee. Other patent correspondence, including design, plant, and provisional application filings, as well as correspondence filed in a nonprovisional application after the application filing date (known as “follow-on” correspondence), can still be filed by mail or hand-delivery without incurring the $400 non-electronic filing fee. Such other correspondence relating to patent matters should be addressed to
COMMISSIONER FOR PATENTS P.O. Box 1450 Alexandria, VA 22313-1450when sent by mail via the United States Postal Service. If a mail stop is appropriate, the mail stop should also be used. Mail addressed to different mail stops should be mailed separately to ensure proper routing. For example, after final correspondence should be mailed to
Mail Stop AF Commissioner for Patents P.O. Box 1450 Alexandria, VA 22313-1450and assignments should be mailed to
Mail Stop Assignment Recordation Services Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office P.O. Box 1450 Alexandria, VA 22313-1450Correspondents should be sure to include their full return addresses, including zip codes. The principal location of the USPTO is 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, Virginia. The personal presence of applicants at the USPTO is unnecessary. You do not have to be a Registered eFiler to file a patent application via EFS-Web. However, unless you are a Registered eFiler, you must not attempt to file follow-on correspondence via EFS-Web, because Unregistered eFilers are not permitted to file follow-on correspondence via EFS-Web. Follow-on correspondence filed by anyone other than an EFS-Web Registered eFiler must be sent by mail or hand-delivered to the address specified in the paragraph above. Applicants and attorneys are required to conduct their business with decorum and courtesy. Papers presented in violation of this requirement will be returned. Separate letters (but not necessarily in separate envelopes) should be written for each distinct subject of inquiry, such as assignments, payments, orders for printed copies of patents, orders for copies of records, and requests for other services. None of these inquiries should be included with letters responding to Office actions in applications. When a letter concerns a patent application, the correspondent must include the application number (consisting of the series code and the serial number, e.g., 12/123,456) or the serial number and filing date assigned to that application by the Office, or the international application number of the international application number of the international application. When a letter concerns a patent (other than for purposes of payment of a maintenance fee), it should include the name of the patentee, the title of the invention, the patent number, and the date of issue. An order for a copy of an assignment should identify the reel and frame number where the assignment or document is recorded; otherwise, an additional charge is made for the time consumed in making the search for the assignment. Applications for patents, which are not published or issued as patents, are not generally open to the public, and no information concerning them is released except on written authority of the applicant, his or her assignee, or his or her attorney, or when necessary to the conduct of the business of the USPTO. Patent application publications and patents and related records, including records of any decisions, the records of assignments other than those relating to assignments of unpublished patent applications, patent applications that are relied upon for priority in a patent application publication or patent, books, and other records and papers in the Office are open to the public. They may be inspected in the USPTO Search Room, or copies may be ordered. The Office cannot respond to inquiries concerning the novelty and patentability of an invention prior to the filing of an application; give advice as to possible infringement of a patent; advise of the propriety of filing an application; respond to inquiries as to whether, or to whom, any alleged invention has been patented; act as an expounder of the patent law or as counselor for individuals, except in deciding questions arising before it in regularly filed cases. Information of a general nature may be furnished either directly or by supplying or calling attention to an appropriate publication.
Public Search Facility and Patent and Trademark Resource CentersThe Scientific and Technical Information Center of the United States Patent and Trademark Office located at 1D58 Remsen, 400 Dulany Street, Alexandria, Va., has available for public use over 120,000 volumes of scientific and technical books in various languages, about 90,000 bound volumes of periodicals devoted to science and technology, the official journals of 77 foreign patent organizations, and over 40 million foreign patents on paper, microfilm, microfiche, and CD-ROM. The Scientific and Technical Information Center is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday except federal holidays. The Public Search Facility located at Madison East, First Floor, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, Va., is where the public may search and examine U.S. patents granted since 1790 using state of the art computer workstations. A complete patent backfile in numeric sequence is available on microfilm or in optical disc format. Official Gazettes, Annual Indexes (of inventors), the Manual of Classification and its subject matter index, and other search aids are available in various formats. Patent assignment records of transactions affecting the ownership of patents, microfilmed deeds, and indexes are also available. The Public Search Facility is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday except on federal holidays. Many inventors attempt to make their own search of the prior patents and publications before applying for a patent. This may be done in the Public Search Facility of the USPTO, and in libraries located throughout the United States that have been designated as Patent and Trademark Resource Centers (PTRCs). An inventor may make a preliminary search through the U.S. patents and publications to discover if the particular invention or one similar to it has been shown in the prior patent. An inventor may also employ patent attorneys or agents to perform the preliminary search. This search may not be as complete as that made by the USPTO during the examination of an application, but only serves, as its name indicates, a preliminary purpose. For this reason, the patent examiner may, and often does, reject claims in an application on the basis of prior patents or publications not found in the preliminary search. Those who cannot come to the Public Search Facility may order from the USPTO copies of lists of original patents or of cross-referenced patents contained in the subclasses comprising the field of search, or may inspect and obtain copies of the patents at a Patent and Trademark Resource Center. The PTRCs receive current issues of U.S. patents and maintain collections of earlier issued patent and trademark information. The scope of these collections varies from library to library, ranging from patents of only recent years to all or most of the patents issued since 1790. These patent collections are open to public use. Each of the PTRCs, in addition, offers the publications of the U.S. Patent Classification System (e.g., Manual of Classification, Index to the U.S. Patent Classification System, Classification Definitions, etc.) and other patent documents and forms, and provides technical staff assistance in their use to aid the public in gaining effective access to information contained in patents. The collections are organized in patent number sequence. Available in all PTRCs is the Cassis CD-ROM system. With various files, it permits the effective identification of appropriate classifications to search, provides numbers of patents assigned to a classification to facilitate finding the patents in a numerical file of patents, provides the current classification(s) of all patents, permits word searching on classification titles, and on abstracts, and provides certain bibliographic information on more recently issued patents. These libraries also provide access to the USPTO website. Facilities for making paper copies from microfilm, the paper bound volumes or CD-ROM are generally provided for a fee. Due to variations in the scope of patent collections among the PTRCs and in their hours of service to the public, anyone contemplating the use of the patents at a particular library is advised to contact that library, in advance, about its collection, services, and hours, so as to avert possible inconvenience. For a complete list of PTRCs, refer to the USPTO website at www.uspto.gov/products/library/ptdl/index.jsp.
Attorneys and AgentsThe preparation of an application for patent and the conducting of the proceedings in the United States Patent and Trademark Office to obtain the patent is an undertaking requiring the knowledge of patent law and rules and Office practice and procedures, as well as knowledge of the scientific or technical matters involved in the particular invention. Inventors may prepare their own applications and file them in the USPTO and conduct the proceedings themselves, but unless they are familiar with these matters or study them in detail, they may get into considerable difficulty. While a patent may be obtained in many cases by persons not skilled in this work, there would be no assurance that the patent obtained would adequately protect the particular invention. Most inventors employ the services of registered patent attorneys or patent agents. The law gives the USPTO the power to make rules and regulations governing conduct and the recognition of patent attorneys and agents to practice before the USPTO. Persons who are not recognized by the USPTO for this practice are not permitted by law to represent inventors before the USPTO. The USPTO maintains a register of attorneys and agents. To be admitted to this register, a person must comply with the regulations prescribed by the Office, which require a showing that the person is of good moral character and of good repute and that he or she has the legal, scientific, and technical qualifications necessary to render applicants for patents a valuable service. Certain of these qualifications must be demonstrated by the passing of an examination. Those admitted to the examination must have a college degree in engineering or physical science or the equivalent of such a degree. The USPTO registers both attorneys at law and persons who are not attorneys at law. The former persons are now referred to as “patent attorneys,” and the latter persons are referred to as “patent agents.” Both patent attorneys and patent agents are permitted to prepare an application for a patent and conduct the prosecution in the USPTO. Patent agents, however, cannot conduct patent litigation in the courts or perform various services that the local jurisdiction considers as practicing law. For example, a patent agent could not draw up a contract relating to a patent, such as an assignment or a license, if the state in which he or she resides considers drafting contracts as practicing law. Some individuals and organizations that are not registered advertise their services in the fields of patent searching and invention marketing and development. Such individuals and organizations cannot represent inventors before the USPTO. They are not subject to USPTO discipline, but the USPTO does provide a public forum (www.uspto.gov/web/offices/com/iip/complaints.htm) where complaints and responses concerning invention promoters/promotion firms are published. The USPTO cannot recommend any particular attorney or agent, or aid in the selection of an attorney or agent, as by stating, in response to inquiry that a named patent attorney, agent, or firm, is “reliable” or “capable.” The USPTO maintains a directory of registered patent attorneys and agents at http://des.uspto.gov/OEDCI. The telephone directories of most large cities have, in the classified section, a heading for patent attorneys under which those in that area are listed. Many large cities have associations of patent attorneys. In employing a patent attorney or agent, the inventor executes a power of attorney, which is filed in the USPTO and made of record in the application file. When a registered attorney or agent has been appointed, the Office does not communicate with the inventor directly but conducts the correspondence with the attorney or agent since he or she is acting for the inventor thereafter although the inventor is free to contact the USPTO concerning the status of his or her application. The inventor may remove the attorney or agent by revoking the power of attorney. The USPTO has the power to disbar, or suspend from practicing before it, persons guilty of gross misconduct, etc., but this can only be done after a full hearing with the presentation of clear and convincing evidence concerning the misconduct. The USPTO will receive and, in appropriate cases, act upon complaints against attorneys and agents. The fees charged to inventors by patent attorneys and agents for their professional services are not subject to regulation by the USPTO. Definite evidence of overcharging may afford basis for USPTO action, but the Office rarely intervenes in disputes concerning fees.
Who May Apply For A PatentAccording to the law, the inventor, or a person to whom the inventor has assigned or is under an obligation to assign the invention, may apply for a patent, with certain exceptions. If the inventor is deceased, the application may be made by legal representatives, that is, the administrator or executor of the estate. If the inventor is legally incapacitated, the application for patent may be made by a legal representative (e.g., guardian). If an inventor refuses to apply for a patent or cannot be found, a joint inventor may apply on behalf of the non-signing inventor. If two or more persons make an invention jointly, they apply for a patent as joint inventors. A person who makes only a financial contribution is not a joint inventor and cannot be joined in the application as an inventor. It is possible to correct an innocent mistake in erroneously omitting an inventor or in erroneously naming a person as an inventor. Officers and employees of the United States Patent and Trademark Office are prohibited by law from applying for a patent or acquiring, directly or indirectly, except by inheritance or bequest, any patent or any right or interest in any patent.
Independent lnventor ResourcesA section of the USPTO’s website, found at www.uspto.gov/inventors, is devoted to independent inventors (the site is titled “Inventors Resources”) and offers a broad range of material covering most aspects of the patent and trademark process. The website also endeavors to educate independent inventors about fraudulent invention development and marketing firms and the scams that may affect these inventors and offers tips and warning signs on avoiding these scams. The site also publishes complaints against these firms and any responses received from them. The site further provides links to other USPTO sites, as well as links to other federal agencies.
Mail for the Inventor’s Assistance Program, including complaints about invention promoters, should be addressed to:Mail Stop 24 Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office PO Box 1450 Alexandria, VA 22313- 1450 Email: email@example.com The Inventors Assistance Center (IAC) provides the primary point of contact to the independent inventor community and the general public for general information about filing a provisional patent application, or a regular, nonprovisional patent application. For additional information on the patent process, telephone the Inventors Assistance Center at:
Telephone 1-800-PTO-9199 TTY: 571-272-9950 USPTO’s home page is www.uspto.govInventors also have the option of filing a Provisional Application for Patent. Provisional applications are described in more detail below. To receive more information on provisional applications, please visit the USPTO website or request a print brochure by calling 800-786-9199 or 571-272-1000.
Application For Patent
Non-Provisional Application for a PatentA nonprovisional application for a patent is made to the Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office and includes:
(1) A written document which comprises a specification (description and claims);
(2) Drawings (when necessary);
(3) An oath or declaration; and
(4) Filing, search, and examination fees. Fees for filing, searching, examining, issuing, appealing, and maintaining patent applications and patents are reduced by 50 percent for any small entity that qualifies for reduced fees under 37 CFR 1.27(a), and are reduced by 75 percent for any micro entity that files a certification that the requirements under 37 CFR 1.29(a) or (d) are met.
- Small Entity Status: Applicant must determine that small entity status under 37 CFR 1.27(a) is appropriate before making an assertion of entitlement to small entity status and paying a fee at the 50 percent small entity discount. Fees change each October. Note that by filing electronically via EFS-Web, the filing fee for an applicant qualifying for small entity status is further reduced.
- Micro Entity Status: Applicant must determine that micro entity status under 37 CFR 1.29(a) or (d) is appropriate before filing the required certification of micro entity status and paying a fee at the 75 percent micro entity discount. The patent forms Web page is indexed under the section titled Forms, Patents on the USPTO website at www.uspto.gov. There are two micro entity certification forms – namely form PTO/SB/15A for certifying micro entity status on the “gross income basis” under 37 CFR 1.29(a), and form PTO/SB/15B for certifying micro entity status on the “institution of higher education basis” under 37 CFR 1.29(d). Effective November 15, 2011, any regular nonprovisional utility application filed by mail or hand-delivery will require payment of an additional $400 fee called the “non-electronic filing fee,” which is reduced by 50 percent (to $200) for applicants that qualify for small entity status under 37 CFR 1.27(a) or micro entity status under 37 CFR 1.29(a) or (d). The only way to avoid having to pay the additional $400 non-electronic filing fee is by filing the regular nonprovisional utility application via EFS-Web.
Provisional Application for a PatentSince June 8, 1995, the USPTO has offered inventors the option of filing a provisional application for patent, which was designed to provide a lower-cost first patent filing in the United States and to give U.S. applicants parity with foreign applicants. Claims and oath or declaration are NOT required for a provisional application. A provisional application provides the means to establish an early effective filing date in a patent application and permits the term “Patent Pending” to be applied in connection with the invention. Provisional applications may not be filed for design inventions. The filing date of a provisional application is the date on which a written description of the invention, and drawings if necessary, are received in the USPTO. To be complete, a provisional application must also include the filing fee, and a cover sheet specifying that the application is a provisional application for patent. The applicant would then have up to 12 months to file a nonprovisional application for patent as described above. The claimed subject matter in the later filed nonprovisional application is entitled to the benefit of the filing date of the provisional application if it has support in the provisional application. If a provisional application is not filed in English, and a nonprovisional application is filed claiming benefit to the provisional application, a translation of the provisional application will be required. See title 37, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 1.78(a)(5). Provisional applications are NOT examined on their merits. A provisional application will become abandoned by the operation of law 12 months from its filing date. The 12-month pendency for a provisional application is not counted toward the 20-year term of a patent granted on a subsequently filed nonprovisional application that claims benefit of the filing date of the provisional application. A surcharge is required for filing the basic filing fee or the cover sheet on a date later than the filing of the provisional application. Unlike nonprovisional utility applications, design, plant, and provisional applications can still be filed by mail or hand-delivery without having to pay the additional $400 non-electronic filing fee. Design and provisional applications can also be filed via EFS-Web. Plant applications, however, are not permitted to be filed via EFS-Web.
Publication of Patent ApplicationsPublication of patent applications is required by the American Inventors Protection Act of 1999 for most plant and utility patent applications filed on or after November 29, 2000. On filing of a plant or utility application on or after November 29, 2000, an applicant may request that the application not be published, but only if the invention has not been and will not be the subject of an application filed in a foreign country that requires publication 18 months after filing (or earlier claimed priority date) or under the Patent Cooperation Treaty. Publication occurs after the expiration of an 18-month period following the earliest effective filing date or priority date claimed by an application. Following publication, the application for patent is no longer held in confidence by the Office and any member of the public may request access to the entire file history of the application. As a result of publication, an applicant may assert provisional rights. These rights provide a patentee with the opportunity to obtain a reasonable royalty from a third party that infringes a published application claim provided actual notice is given to the third party by applicant, and patent issues from the application with a substantially identical claim. Thus, damages for pre-patent grant infringement by another are now available.
File Your Application Electronically Using EFS-WebEffective November 15, 2011, any regular nonprovisional utility application filed by mail or hand-delivery will require payment of an additional $400 fee called the “non-electronic filing fee,” which is reduced by 50 percent (to $200) for applicants that qualify for small entity status under 37 CFR 1.27(a) or micro entity status under 37 CFR 1.29(a) or (d). The only way to avoid having to pay the additional $400 non-electronic filing fee is by filing your nonprovisional utility application via EFS-Web.A small entity applicant who files electronically not only avoids the additional non-electronic filing ($200 for small entity and micro entity applicants); the small entity applicant who files electronically also receives a bigger discount on the regular filing fee. Any questions regarding filing applications via EFS-Web should be directed to the Electronic Business Center at 866-217-9197. Other patent correspondence, including design, plant, and provisional application filings, as well as correspondence filed in a nonprovisional application after the application filing date (known as “follow-on” correspondence), can still be filed by mail or hand-delivery without incurring the $400 non-electronic filing fee. You do not have to be a Registered eFiler to file a patent application via EFS-Web. However, unless you are a Registered eFiler, you must not attempt to file follow-on correspondence via EFS-Web, because Unregistered eFilers are not permitted to file follow-on correspondence via EFS-Web. Follow-on correspondence filed by anyone other than an EFS-Web Registered eFiler must be sent by mail or be hand-delivered. (See the “General Information and Correspondence” section of this brochure.) In the event you receive from the USPTO a “Notice of Incomplete Application” in response to your EFS-Web filing stating that an application number has been assigned but no filing date has been granted, you must become a Registered eFiler and file your reply to the “Notice of Incomplete Application” via EFS-Web in order to avoid the $400 non-electronic filing fee. To become a Registered eFiler and have the ability to file follow-on correspondence, please consult the information at www.uspto.gov/patents/process/file/efs/guidance/register.jsp, or call the Electronic Business Center at 866-217-9197. EFS-Web allows customers to electronically file patent application documents securely via the Internet via a Web page. EFS-Web is a system for submitting new applications and documents related to previously-filed patent applications. Customers prepare documents in Portable Document Format (PDF), attach the documents, validate that the PDF documents will be compatible with USPTO internal automated information systems, submit the documents, and pay fees with real-time payment processing. Some forms are available as fillable EFS-Web forms. When these fillable EFS-Web forms are used, the data entered into the forms is automatically loaded into USPTO information systems. EFS-Web can be used to submit:
(A) New utility patent applications and fees
(B) New design patent applications and fees
(C) Provisional patent applications and fees
(D) Requests to enter the national stage under 35 U.S.C. 371 and fees
(E) Most follow-on documents and fees for a previously filed patent applicationFurther information on EFS-Web is available at www.uspto.gov/patents/process/file/efs/guidance. See the “Legal Framework” document on that Web page for a list of correspondence that may not be filed via EFS-Web and answers to frequently asked questions.
Oath or Declaration, SignatureAn oath or declaration is a formal statement that must be made by the inventor in a non-provisional application. Each inventor must sign an oath or declaration that includes certain statements required by law and the USPTO rules, including the statement that he or she believes himself or herself to be the original inventor or an original joint inventor of a claimed invention in the application and the statement that the application was made or authorized to be made by him or her. See 35 U.S.C 115 and 37 CFR 1.63. An oath must be sworn to by the inventor before a notary public. A declaration may be submitted in lieu of an oath. A declaration does not need to be notarized. Oaths or declarations are required for design, plant, utility, and reissue applications. In addition to the required statements, the oath or declaration must set forth the legal name of the inventor, and, if not provided in an application data sheet, the inventor’s mailing address and residence. In lieu of an oath or declaration, a substitute statement may be signed by the applicant with respect to an inventor who is deceased, legally incapacitated, cannot be found or reached after diligent effort, or has refused to execute the oath or declaration. When filing a continuing application, a copy of the oath or declaration filed in the earlier application may be used provided that it complies with the rules in effect for the continuing application (i.e., the rules that apply to applications filed on or after September 16, 2012). Forms for declarations are available by calling the USPTO General Information Services at 800-786-9199 or 571-272-1000 or by accessing USPTO website at www.uspto.gov, indexed under the section titled “Forms, Patents.” Most of the forms on the USPTO website are electronically fillable and can be included in the application filed via EFS-Web without having to print the form out in order to scan it for inclusion as a PDF attachment to the application.
Filing, Search, and Examination FeesA patent application is subject to the payment of a basic fee and additional fees that include a search fee, an examination fee, and issue fee. Consult the USPTO website at www.uspto.gov for the current fees. Total claims that exceed 20, and independent claims that exceed three are considered “excess claims” for which additional fees are due. For example, if applicant filed a total of 25 claims, including four independent claims, applicant would be required to pay excess claims fees for five total claims exceeding 20, and one independent claim exceeding three. If the same applicant later filed an amendment increasing the total number of claims to 29, and the number of independent claims to six, applicant would be required to pay more excess claims fees for the four additional total claims and the two additional independent claims. In calculating fees, a claim is singularly dependent if it incorporates by reference a single preceding claim that may be an independent or dependent claim. A multiple dependent claim or any claim depending therefrom shall be considered as separate dependent claims in accordance with the number of claims to which reference is made. In addition, if the application contains multiple dependent claims, an additional fee is required for each multiple dependent claim. If the owner of the invention is a small entity, (an independent inventor, a small business concern or a nonprofit organization), most fees are reduced by half if small entity status is claimed. If small entity status is desired and appropriate, applicants should pay the small entity filing fee. Applicants claiming small entity status should make an investigation as to whether small entity status is appropriate before claiming such status. Most of the fees are subject to change in October of each year.
Specification [Description and Claims]The following order of arrangement should be observed in framing the application:
(a) Application transmittal form
(b) Fee transmittal form
(c) Application Data Sheet
(f ) Executed Oath or declarationThe specification should have the following sections, in order:
(1) Title of the Invention
(2) Cross Reference to related applications (if any). (Related applications may be listed on an application data sheet, either instead of or together with being listed in the specification.)
(3) Statement of federally sponsored research or development (if any)
(4) The names of the parties to a joint research agreement if the claimed invention was made as a result of activities within the scope of a joint research agreement
(5) Reference to a ”Sequence Listing,” a table, or a computer program listing appendix submitted on a compact disc and an incorporation by reference of the material on the compact disc. The total number of compact disc including duplicates and the files on each compact disc shall be specified.
(6) Background of the Invention
(7) Brief Summary of the Invention
(8) Brief description of the several views of the drawing (if any)
(9) Detailed Description of the Invention
(10) A claim or claims
(11) Abstract of the disclosure
(12) Sequence listing (if any)The specification must include a written description of the invention and of the manner and process of making and using it, and is required to be in such full, clear, concise, and exact terms as to enable any person skilled in the technological area to which the invention pertains, or with which it is most nearly connected, to make and use the same. The specification must set forth the precise invention for which a patent is solicited, in such manner as to distinguish it from other inventions and from what is old. It must describe completely a specific embodiment of the process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter, or improvement invented, and must explain the mode of operation or principle whenever applicable. The best mode contemplated by the inventor for carrying out the invention must be set forth. In the case of an improvement, the specification must particularly point out the part or parts of the process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter to which the improvement relates, and the description should be confined to the specific improvement and to such parts as necessarily cooperate with it or as may be necessary to a complete understanding or description of it. The title of the invention, which should be as short and specific as possible (no more than 500 characters), should appear as a heading on the first page of the specification if it does not otherwise appear at the beginning of the application. A brief abstract of the technical disclosure in the specification, including that which is new in the art to which the invention pertains, must be set forth on a separate page preferably following the claims. The abstract should be in the form of a single paragraph of 150 words or less, under the heading “Abstract of the Disclosure.” A brief summary of the invention indicating its nature and substance, which may include a statement of the object of the invention, should precede the detailed description. The summary should be commensurate with the invention as claimed, and any object recited should be that of the invention as claimed. When there are drawings, there shall be a brief description of the several views of the drawings, and the detailed description of the invention shall refer to the different views by specifying the numbers of the figures, and to the different parts by use of reference numerals. The specification must conclude with a claim or claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject matter that the applicant regards as the invention. The portion of the application in which the applicant sets forth the claim or claims is an important part of the application, as it is the claims that define the scope of the protection afforded by the patent and which questions of infringement are judged by the courts. More than one claim may be presented, provided they differ substantially from each other and are not unduly multiplied. One or more claims may be presented in dependent form, referring back to and further limiting another claim or claims in the same application. Any dependent claim that refers back to more than one other claim is considered a “multiple dependent claim.” Multiple dependent claims shall refer to such other claims in the alternative only. A multiple dependent claim shall not serve as a basis for any other multiple dependent claim. Claims in dependent form shall be construed to include all of the limitations of the claim incorporated by reference into the dependent claim. A multiple dependent claim shall be construed to incorporate all the limitations of each of the particular claims in relation to which it is being considered. The claim or claims must conform to the invention as set forth in the remainder of the specification and the terms and phrases used in the claims must find clear support or antecedent basis in the description so that the meaning of the terms in the claims may be ascertainable by reference to the description.
DrawingThe applicant for a patent will be required by law to furnish a drawing of the invention whenever the nature of the case requires a drawing to understand the invention. However, the Director may require a drawing where the nature of the subject matter admits of it; this drawing must be filed with the application. This includes practically all inventions except compositions of matter or processes, but a drawing may also be useful in the case of many processes. The drawing must show every feature of the invention specified in the claims, and is required by the Office rules to be in a particular form. The Office specifies the size of the sheet on which the drawing is made, the type of paper, the margins, and other details relating to the making of the drawing. The reason for specifying the standards in detail is that the drawings are printed and published in a uniform style when the patent issues, and the drawings must also be such that they can be readily understood by persons using the patent descriptions. The sheets of drawings should be numbered in consecutive Arabic numerals, starting with 1, within the sight (the usable surface). For regular nonprovisional utility applications, these “sheets” should be contained in an electronic document in PDF format filed with the other application documents via EFS-Web. These numbers, if present, must be placed in the middle of the top of the sheet, but not in the margin. The numbers can be placed on the right-hand side if the drawing extends too close to the middle of the top edge of the usable surface. The drawing sheet numbering must be clear and larger than the numbers used as reference characters to avoid confusion. The number of each sheet should be shown by two Arabic numerals placed on either side of an oblique line, with the first being the sheet number and the second being the total number of sheets of drawings, with no other marking. Identifying indicia, if provided, should include the title of the invention, the inventor’s name, the application number (if known), and docket number (if any). This information should be placed on the top margin of each sheet of drawings. No names or other identification will be permitted within the “sight” of the drawing. The name and telephone number of a person to call if the USPTO is unable to match the drawings to the proper application may also be provided.
§ 1.84 Standards for Drawings(1) Drawings. There are two acceptable categories for presenting drawings in utility and design patent applications:
(a) Black ink. Black and white drawings are normally required. India ink, or its equivalent that secures solid black lines, must be used for drawings, or
(b) Color. On rare occasions, color drawings may be necessary as the only practical medium by which to disclose the subject matter sought to be patented in a utility or design patent application or the subject matter of a statutory invention registration. The color drawings must be of sufficient quality such that all details in the drawings are reproducible in black and white in the printed patent. Color drawings are not permitted in international applications (see PCT Rule 11.13), or in an application, or copy thereof, submitted under the Office electronic filing system.
The Office will accept color drawings in utility or design patent applications and statutory invention registrations only after granting a petition filed under this paragraph explaining why the color drawings are necessary. Any such petition must include the following:
(i) The fee set forth in § 1.17(h);
(ii) Three sets of color drawings;and
(iii) An amendment to the specification to insert (unless the specification contains or has been previously amended to contain) the following language as the first paragraph of the brief description of the drawings:The patent or application file contains at least one drawing executed in color. Copies of this patent or patent application publication with color drawing(s) will be provided by the Office upon request and payment of the necessary fee. (2) Photographs
(a) Black and white. Photographs, including photocopies of photographs, are not ordinarily permitted in utility and design patent applications. The Office will accept photographs in utility and design patent applications, however, if photographs are the only practicable medium for illustrating the claimed invention. For example, photographs or photomicrographs of electrophoresis gels, blots (e.g., immuno-logical, western, southern, and northern), autoradiographs, cell cultures (stained and unstained), histological tissue cross sections (stained and unstained), animals, plants, in vivo imaging, thin-layer chromatography plates, crystalline structures, and, in a design patent application, ornamental effects, are acceptable. If the subject matter of the application admits of illustration by a drawing, the examiner may require a drawing in place of the photograph. The photographs must be of sufficient quality so that all details in the photographs are reproducible in the printed patent.
(b) Color photographs. Color photographs will be accepted in utility and design patent applications if the conditions for accepting color drawings and black and white photographs have been satisfied. See paragraphs (a)(2) and (b)(1) of this section.(3) Identification of drawings - Identifying indicia should be provided, and if provided, should include the title of the invention, inventor’s name, and application number, or docket number (if any) if an application number has not been assigned to the application. If this information is provided, it must be placed on the front of each sheet within the top margin. Each drawing sheet submitted after the filing date of an application must be identified as either “Replacement Sheet” or “New Sheet” pursuant to § 1.121(d). If a marked-up copy of any amended drawing figure including annotations indicating the changes made is filed, such marked-up copy must be clearly labeled as “Annotated Sheet” pursuant to § 1.121(d)(1). (4) Graphic forms in drawings - Chemical or mathematical formulae, tables, and waveforms may be submitted as drawings and are subject to the same requirements as drawings. Each chemical or mathematical formula must be labeled as a separate figure, using brackets when necessary, to show that information is properly integrated. Each group of waveforms must be presented as a single figure, using a common vertical axis with time extending along the horizontal axis. Each individual waveform discussed in the specification must be identified with a separate letter designation adjacent to the vertical axis. (5) Margins - The sheets must not contain frames around the sight (i.e., the usable surface), but should have scan target points (i.e., cross-hairs) printed on two cattycorner margin corners. Each sheet must include a top margin of at least 2.5 cm (1 inch), a left side margin of at least 2.5 cm (1 inch), a right side margin of at least 1.5 cm (5/8 inch), and a bottom margin of at least 1 cm (3/8 inch), thereby leaving a sight no greater than 17 cm by 26.2 cm on 21 cm by 29.7 cm (DIN size A4) drawing sheets, and a sight no greater than 17.6 cm by 24.4 cm (6 15/16 by 9 5/8 inches) on 21.6 cm by 27.9 cm (8 1/2 by 11 inch) drawing sheets. (6) Views - The drawing must contain as many views as necessary to show the invention. The views may be plan, elevation, section, or perspective views. Detail views of portions of elements, on a larger scale if necessary, may also be used. All views of the drawing must be grouped together and arranged on the sheet(s) without wasting space, preferably in an upright position, clearly separated from one another, and must not be included in the sheets containing the specifications, claims, or abstract. Views must not be connected by projection lines and must not contain center lines. Waveforms of electrical signals may be connected by dashed lines to show the relative timing of the waveforms.
(a) Exploded views – Exploded views with the separated parts embraced by a bracket, to show the relationship or order of assembly of various parts are permissible. When an exploded view is shown in a figure that is on the same sheet as another figure, the exploded view should be placed in brackets.
(b) Partial views - When necessary, a view of a large machine or device in its entirety may be broken into partial views on a single sheet, or extended over several sheets if there is no loss in facility of understanding the view. Partial views drawn on separate sheets must always be capable of being linked edge to edge so that no partial view contains parts of another partial view. A smaller scale view should be included showing the whole formed by the partial views and indicating the positions of the parts shown. When a portion of a view is enlarged for magnification purposes, the view and the enlarged view must each be labeled as separate views.
(i) Where views on two or more sheets form, in effect, a single complete view, the views on the several sheets must be so arranged that the complete figure can be assembled without concealing any part of any of the views appearing on the various sheets.
(ii) A very long view may be divided into several parts placed one above the other on a single sheet. However, the relationship between the different parts must be clear and unambiguous.
(c) Sectional views. The plane upon which a sectional view is taken should be indicated on the view from which the section is cut by a broken line. The ends of the broken line should be designated by Arabic or Roman numerals corresponding to the view number of the sectional view, and should have arrows to indicate the direction of sight. Hatching must be used to indicate section portions of an object, and must be made by regularly spaced oblique parallel lines spaced sufficiently apart to enable the lines to be distinguished without difficulty. Hatching should not impede the clear reading of the reference characters and lead lines. If it is not possible to place reference characters outside the hatched area, the hatching may be broken off wherever reference characters are inserted. Hatching must be at a substantial angle to the surrounding axes or principal lines, preferably 45 degrees. A cross section must be set out and drawn to show all of the materials as they are shown in the view from which the cross section was taken. The parts in cross section must show proper material(s) by hatching with regularly spaced parallel oblique strokes, the space between strokes being chosen on the basis of the total area to be hatched. The various parts of a cross section of the same item should be hatched in the same manner and should accurately and graphically indicate the nature of the material(s) that is illustrated in cross section. The hatching of juxtaposed different elements must be angled in a different way. In the case of large areas, hatching may be confined to an edging drawn around the entire inside of the outline of the area to be hatched. Different types of hatching should have different conventional meanings as regards the nature of a material seen in cross section.
(d) Alternate position. A moved position may be shown by a broken line superimposed upon a suitable view if this can be done without crowding; otherwise, a separate view must be used for this purpose.
(e) Modified forms. Modified forms of construction must be shown in separate views.(7) Arrangement of views - One view must not be placed upon another or within the outline of another. All views on the same sheet should stand in the same direction and, if possible, stand so that they can be read with the sheet held in an upright position. If views wider than the width of the sheet are necessary for the clearest illustration of the invention, the sheet may be turned on its side so that the top of the sheet, with the appropriate top margin to be used as the heading space, is on the right-hand side. Words must appear in a horizontal, left-to-right fashion when the page is either upright or turned so that the top becomes the right side, except for graphs utilizing standard scientific convention to denote the axis of abscissas (of X) and the axis of ordinates (of Y). (8) Front page view - The drawing must contain as many views as necessary to show the invention. One of the views should be suitable for inclusion on the front page of the patent application publication and patent as the illustration of the invention. Views must not be connected by projection lines and must not contain center lines. Applicant may suggest a single view (by figure number) for inclusion on the front page of the patent application publication and patent. (9) Scale - The scale to which a drawing is made must be large enough to show the mechanism without crowding when the drawing is reduced in size to two-thirds in reproduction. Indications such as “actual size” or “scale 1/2” on the drawings are not permitted since these lose their meaning with reproduction in a different format. (10) Character of lines, numbers, and letters - All drawings must be made by a process that will give them satisfactory reproduction characteristics. Every line, number, and letter must be durable, clean, black (except for color drawings), sufficiently dense and dark, and uniformly thick and well defined. The weight of all lines and letters must be heavy enough to permit adequate reproduction. This requirement applies to all lines however fine, to shading, and to lines representing cut surfaces in sectional views. Lines and strokes of different thicknesses may be used in the same drawing where different thicknesses have a different meaning. (11) Shading - The use of shading in views is encouraged if it aids in understanding the invention and if it does not reduce legibility. Shading is used to indicate the surface or shape of spherical, cylindrical, and conical elements of an object. Flat parts may also be lightly shaded. Such shading is preferred in the case of parts shown in perspective, but not for cross sections. See paragraph (h)(3) of this section. Spaced lines for shading are preferred. These lines must be thin, as few in number as practicable, and they must contrast with the rest of the drawings. As a substitute for shading, heavy lines on the shade side of objects can be used except where they superimpose on each other or obscure reference characters. Light should come from the upper left corner at an angle of 45 degrees. Surface delineations should preferably be shown by proper shading. Solid black shading areas are not permitted, except when used to represent bar graphs or color. (12) Symbols - Graphical drawing symbols may be used for conventional elements when appropriate. The elements for which such symbols and labeled representations are used must be adequately identified in the specification. Known devices should be illustrated by symbols that have a universally recognized conventional meaning and are generally accepted in the art. Other symbols which are not universally recognized may be used, subject to approval by the Office, if they are not likely to be confused with existing conventional symbols, and if they are readily identifiable. (13) Legends - Suitable descriptive legends may be used subject to approval by the Office, or may be required by the examiner where necessary for understanding of the drawing. They should contain as few words as possible. (14) Numbers, letters, and reference characters
(a) Reference characters (numerals are preferred), sheet numbers, and view numbers must be plain and legible, and must not be used in association with brackets or inverted commas, or enclosed within outlines, e.g., encircled. They must be oriented in the same direction as the view so as to avoid having to rotate the sheet. Reference characters should be arranged to follow the profile of the object depicted.
(b) The English alphabet must be used for letters, except where another alphabet is customarily used, such as the Greek alphabet to indicate angles, wavelengths, and mathematical formulas.
(c) Numbers, letters, and reference characters must measure at least .32 cm (1/8 inch) in height. They should not be placed in the drawing so as to interfere with its comprehension. Therefore, they should not cross or mingle with the lines. They should not be placed upon hatched or shaded surfaces. When necessary, such as indicating a surface or cross section, a reference character may be underlined and a blank space may be left in the hatching or shading where the character occurs so that it appears distinct.
(d) The same part of an invention appearing in more than one view of the drawing must always be designated by the same reference character, and the same reference character must never be used to designate different parts.
(e) Reference characters not mentioned in the description shall not appear in the drawings. Reference characters mentioned in the description must appear in the drawings.(15) Lead lines - Lead lines are those lines between the reference characters and the details referred to. Such lines may be straight or curved and should be as short as possible. They must originate in the immediate proximity of the reference character and extend to the feature indicated. Lead lines must not cross each other. Lead lines are required for each reference character except for those which indicate the surface or cross section on which they are placed. Such a reference character must be underlined to make it clear that a lead line has not been left out by mistake. Lead lines must be executed in the same way as lines in the drawing. See paragraph (1) of this section. (16) Arrows - Arrows may be used at the ends of lines, provided that their meaning is clear, as follows:
(a) On a lead line, a freestanding arrow to indicate the entire section towards which it points;
(b) On a lead line, an arrow touching a line to indicate the surface shown by the line looking along the direction of the arrow
(c) To show the direction of movement.(17) Copyright or Mask Work Notice - A copyright or mask work notice may appear in the drawing, but must be placed within the sight of the drawing immediately below the figure representing the copyright or mask work material and be limited to letters having a print size of .32 cm. to .64 cm. (1/8 to 1/4 inches) high. The content of the notice must be limited to only those elements provided for by law. For example, “©1983 John Doe” (17 U.S.C. 401) and “*M* John Doe” (17 U.S.C. 909) would be properly limited and, under current statutes, legally sufficient notices of copyright and mask work, respectively. Inclusion of a copyright or mask work notice will be permitted only if the authorization language set forth in 1.71(e) is included at the beginning (preferably as the first paragraph) of the specification. (18) Numbering of sheets of drawings - The sheets of drawings should be numbered in consecutive Arabic numerals, starting with 1, within the sight as defined in paragraph (5) of this section. These numbers, if present, must be placed in the middle of the top of the sheet, but not in the margin. The numbers can be placed on the right-hand side if the drawing extends too close to the middle of the top edge of the usable surface. The drawing sheet numbering must be clear and larger than the numbers used as reference characters to avoid confusion. The number of each sheet should be shown by two Arabic numerals placed on either side of an oblique line, with the first being the sheet number and the second being the total number of sheets of drawings, with no other marking. (19) Numbering of views
(a) The different views must be numbered in consecutive Arabic numerals, starting with 1, independent of the numbering of the sheets and, if possible, in the order in which they appear on the drawing sheet(s). Partial views intended to form one complete view, on one or several sheets, must be identified by the same number followed by a capital letter. View numbers must be preceded by the abbreviation “FIG.” Where only a single view is used in an application to illustrate the claimed invention, it must not be numbered and the abbreviation “FIG.” must not appear.
(b) Numbers and letters identifying the views must be simple and clear and must not be used in association with brackets, circles, or inverted commas. The view numbers must be larger than the numbers used for reference characters.(20) Security markings - Authorized security markings may be placed on the drawings provided they are outside the sight, preferably centered in the top margin. (21) Corrections - Any corrections on drawings submitted to the Office must be durable and permanent. (22) Holes - No holes should be made by applicant in the drawing sheets. (23) Types of drawings - See § 1.152 for design drawings, § 1.165 for plant drawings, and § 1.173(a)(2) for reissue drawings