Different countries have different standards for the Drawings or Photographs for design patent applications. As applicants, how to prepare Drawings or Photographs under the present patent law for design patent application in China?
I. Legal grounds for Drawings or Photographs for design patent applications
Article 59.2 of Patent Law provides that, the extent of protection of the patent right for design shall be determined by the design of the product as shown in the drawings or photographs. The brief explanation may be used to interpret the design of the product as shown in the drawings or photographs. Article 27.2 of Patent Law provides that, the relevant drawings or photographs submitted by applicant shall clearly indicate the design of the product for which patent protection is sought.
II. Making of Drawings
The drawings shall be made in accordance with the provisions on normal projection, width of lines, and section mark of the Chinese standards of technical drawing and mechanical drawing. Solid lines of even thickness shall be used to show the shape of the design. Shadow lines, indicative lines, dotted lines, central lines, size lines, and dot-dash lines shall not be used to show the shape of a design. Two parallel double-dotted lines or natural geosutures can be used to show the omitted part of a long and thin product. The indicative lines may be used to show the section place and direction, enlarged parts, and transparent parts without unnecessary lines and marks. The drawings shall show the design clearly.
The drawing may be drawn with the aid of drawing instruments including computer. Pencil, crayon or ball-pen shall not be used. Blueprint, sketching, mimeograph shall also not be used. Where the drawing of the design is made with computer, its resolution shall meet the requirements of being distinct.
III. Taking of Photographs
1. The photographs shall be clear, and avoid vagueness resulting from focusing problems, etc.
2. The background of the photographs shall be plain, and avoid showing other contents except the product incorporating the design.
The product and the background shall have appropriate distinction in brightness to show the design clearly.
3. The photographs shall be taken in conformity with the rules of exact projection and avoid distortion caused by perspective.
4. The photographs shall avoid strong light, blinking, shadow, reflection, etc.
5. The product in the photographs should not be allowed to indicate generally accompanied with additional inside filling or liner, unless the additional inside filling or liner must be kept in order to show the design clearly.
IV. Examples of the Drawings or Photographs for design applications
1. Three-dimensional design
So far as the product with a three-dimensional design is concerned, if the essential features of the design of the product involve six sides, the applicant shall submit orthographic projection of six-side views; if the essential features of the design of the product involve the view of one side or several sides only, the applicant shall submit at least orthographic projection view and space diagram of the side concerned, and indicate the reason of the omission of the view in the brief explanation.
The applicant may prepare line drawings, photographs and renderings as follow examples.
(1) Line drawings
2. Product with plane design
So far as the product with plane design is concerned, if the essential features of the design of the product involve the view of one side only, the applicant may submit the orthographic projection view of the relevant side only; if the essential features of the design of the product involve the view of two sides, the applicant shall submit the orthographic projection views of the two relevant sides.
Also, the transparency part should be indicated if necessary (like the marks "A" in the drawings below).
3. The applicant shall also submit, if necessary, the exploded view, cutaway view, sectional view, enlarged view and view of state of variation.
(1) Cutaway view
For products with hollow structure or uneven surface, the applicant is advised to provide cutaway view.
(2) Enlarged view
If a certain component is not clear enough due to the proportion, you can add a partial enlarged view.
(3) Exploded view
In case that the six-sided view cannot be clearly expressed, the expanded view can be supplemented.
(4) View of state of variation/state in use
The applicant may submit the reference views. Reference views are usually used to indicate the purpose of use, method or places of use of the product incorporating the design.
If the whole product or part of the product can move, view of state of variation/state in use should be submitted.
4. Products with separable parts and products with non-unique assembly relationship
For products in which one or several components of the product can be directly separated without the aid of auxiliary tools during use, if the components of the product have more than one assembly relationship and have multiple combinations, such as building blocks , Plug-in component toys, etc., for this type of product, the design application view of each component should be submitted to protect the appearance view of each component.
5. Graphics user interface
If the product appearance is improved and the interface is also a new design, they should be filed in two separate applications.
V. Some issues should be avoided when taking photos
It is noteworthy that there is no partial design in the current Chinese Patent Law at present, but according to the 4th amended Chinese Patent Law, which will take effect from June 1, 2021, partial design is incorporated into the patent system. Then, the applicant may file drawings of partial design with CNIPA. The specific provisions on drawings of partial design are still waiting for the interpretation of the amended implementation regulations and amended examination guideline that will be issued next.