By Jason Vander Griendt

December 23, 2017 at 5:43 am

Ah, so you want to know why Patent Drawings are hand drawn. Good question!

Well, simply put there are rules that must be followed when submitting for a patent on your drawing. But these rules do not specify that you need to use a computer to create a patent drawing. It’s up to you how the drawing is created, and many people opt to submit hand-drawn patent applications.

Here are some of the patent drawing rules you’ll need to adhere too:

Patent Drawing rules:

  • Black ink on white paper.
  • Color is rarely allowed, only when necessary to describe the invention. (A petition must be submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) beforehand if this is the case.)
  • Photographs are only allowed where necessary for displaying the invention. Photos are more appropriate when you’re physically demonstrating a product.
  • The paper must be white, matte (non-shiny), flexible and strong. Writing is only allowed on one side.
  • The paper size must be either 21cm by 29.7cm or 21.6cm by 27.9cm. (8 ½ by 11 inches.)

There are more rules, and you can find them here. So go ahead and check that out after you read this article if you need more info about the technicalities!

From a perhaps more selfish point of view, you could say that when you hand-draw something it has more of your own personal flair. Human beings by nature love having the bragging rights of saying “Hey, I did this and now you get to see how well I did”.

Besides bragging rights, the ability to explain your invention in depth, on paper while talking to your inventor is pretty handy too. Besides, any possible edits to your invention are easier to fix on paper, with a pencil and eraser.

A bit of history regarding hand drawn patents

Did you know that it was previously required for you to hire an Official Craftsman to draw your invention for you? Patent drawing has come pretty far in the past two-hundred years, with many changes that have made it easier for creators to turn their dreams into reality.

In the year 2000, the PTO adjusted the number of revisions applicants are required to give, talk about a stress reliever! Prior to the year 1836, it wasn’t required for you to give two copies of your Patent Drawing to the USPTO.

Up until 1880, you were required to include an actual model of your invention with your drawing. So, the hired draftsman spent the extra time to make sure that the drawing lined up with the model for maximum success. Many believe that these are some of the reasons why today’s drawings are mostly lines and numbers, as opposed to the beautiful drawings from the past.

Before today’s simplified drawing style, the artist’s renderings had shading, multiple perspectives, and texture. Perhaps the decline in detail is due to the ease of communication between inventor and artist, instead of a pretty drawing of your work.

Especially with technology being so advanced these days, all you really need are basic lines and dimensions and the prototype can be created on your computer and in 3D no less.

Now the history lesson is over, if you have any more questions or need a patent drawing for your next amazing invention, gives us a call on 1.888.202.2052 or email We have a long history in helping people prepare for patent applications, so as well as providing you with patent drawings we can explain the potential pitfalls you need to watch out for too.

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Jason Vander Griendt

Jason Vander Griendt is a Mechanical Engineering Technician with years of experience working at major companies such as SNC Lavalin Inc, Hatch Ltd. Siemens and Gerdau Ameristeel. He is the CEO of JCAD – Inc., a company he started in 2006 after seeing a gap in the market for businesses who could assist clients through the entire product design and manufacturing process.

Jason has been featured in Forbes, has had his businesses analyzed and discussed in multiple start-up books, was a previous winner of the Notable8 Digital Innovator of the year award, and is a regular guest on business panels and podcasts. Email Jason at or follow him on LinkedIn.

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