Q: Why is it that in patent drawings, I do not see the invention depicted as it is being used very often?
Is it bad form in a patent drawing to show the invention being used so there is an understanding of how it works? I have a very simple tool to draw and it is probably not clear from just a drawing of the tool how it is used on a workpiece. If the drawings demonstrate the method of using the tool does that mean the patent is covering method also and may complicate things unnecessarily?
The reason why we have drawings in a patent is to communicate to the reader what the invention is all about. The drawings are there to support the claims. Whatever you claim, make sure that it is fully supported in the description and drawings.
I think that you are correct that many times the drawings do not show how the article or device (or tool, in your case) are used. I think that this is a mistake, and I believe that if drawings that clarify the use of the tool should be included. You should put it in.
But there is a reason why the drawing of the use of the tool is frequently omitted. The reason is that a patent that claims the tool is much more valuable than a patent to the method of using the tool. It has to do with enforcement: if the patent owner sees someone else selling the tool, it is easy to go after the seller or maker of the infringing tool. But if the patent claims the method, then the patent owner has to find a person who is using the tool in the same way as is claimed in the patent, sue the user, and sue the seller and maker of the tool as contributory infringers. Patents claiming the method of use are thus more difficult to enforce compared to the patent claiming the tool itself.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.