Patent History Materials Index - Patent Materials from Scientific American, vol 21 new series (Jul 1869 - Dec 1869)

Scientific American, v 21 (ns), no 2, p 19, 10 July 1869

Revision of the Rules of the Patent Office in Regard to Drawings

Commissioner Fisher has made the following important modifications of the Patent Office rules, which are now in full force.

United States Patent Office, June 15, 1869

It is proposed as soon as possible after the 1st of July, to photograph the drawings of the current issues, for the purpose of attaching one copy to the patent, of placing in the room of each Examiner a copy of those belonging to his class, of binding a copy of each drawing for the inspection of the public, and for furnishing certified copies at cheaper rates than heretofore. The adoption of this plan has made it necessary to make essential modifications in the rules relating to drawings, to which the careful attention of inventors and agents is invited. It is absolutely necessary to the success of the undertaking that the rules should be rigidly enforced, and drawings which do not comply with them will not be received.

The rules, which are as follows, go into effect immediately.

Drawings -- The applicant for a patent is required by law to furnish duplicate drawings when the nature of the case admits of them. One must be on thick drawing paper, sufficiently stiff to support itself in the portfolio of the Office, for which it is intended. It must be neatly and artistically executed, with such detached sectional views as to clearly show what the invention is, its construction and operation. Each part must be distinguished by the same number of letter whenever it appears in the several drawings. The name of the inventor should be written at the top, the shortest side being considered as such.

The drawing must be signed by the applicant or his attorney and attested by two witnesses, and musts be sent with the specification.

Tracings upon cloth pasted upon thick paper will not be admitted.

Thick drawings should never be folded for transmission, but should be rolled.

The duplicate drawing to be attached to the patent will be furnished by the Office at the expense of the applicant and will be a photographic copy of the thick drawing. A fee of fifty cents per sheet of 10 by 15 inches will be charged, which must be transmitted with the final fee.

If the applicant does not choose to pay this fee he must furnish the duplicate drawing as heretofore. This must be on tracing muslin, which will bear folding and transportation, and not on paper. It need not be forwarded until the patent to which it is to be attached is ordered to issue. It must have, for the purpose of attaching it, a margin of one inch on the right hand.

Copies of drawings of patents issued after July 1, 1869, will be furnished to any one at the uniform rate of fifty cents per sheet of standard size.

The following rules must be observed in the preparation of the drawings in order that they may be photographed. They must be executed in deep black lines, to give distinctness to the print. In shading, small lines of black ink should be used. Pale, ashy tints should be dispensed with. All colors except black should be avoided, even in lettering; but light blue, pink, and brown, are entirely inadmissible, and deep blue, yellow, and carmine take black.

The sheet should not be larger than 10 by 15 inches, that being the size of the patent. If more illustrations are needed, several sheets must be used.

Applicants are advised to employ competent artists to make the drawings, which will be returned if not executed in strict conformity with these rules, or if injured by folding.

S.S. Fisher, Commissioner of Patents


Scientific American, v 21 (ns), no 2, p 27, 10 July 1869

New Rule About Patent Office Drawings

Hereafter, in accordance with the new rule of the Commissioner of Patents, all drawings sent to the Patent Office will be returned to the applicant or his agent, unless they are artistically made. The principal reason for this regulation grows out of the fact, that duplicate drawings are to be photographed -- one copy to be attached to the patent, and other copies are to be used for the convenience of the examiners in charge of the respective classes. The Commissioner advises applicants to employ competent artists to execute their drawings, which is also a good suggestion.

The promulgation of this new rule leads us to remark, that recently there has grown up a practice on the part of some agents to file miserably prepared drawings, simply for the reason that their slip-shod method of doing business has forced them to adopt the cheapest possible plan. The consequence is, that the portfolio of the office are encumbered with a mass of rough outline sketches, which are neither artistic nor creditable to the office. The Commissioner, evidently, does not mean to encourage this disregard of artistic merit. He has a right to insist that all drawings hereafter to be filed shall possess a certain degree of excellence, and to faithfully illustrate the invention in detail.


Scientific American, v 21 (ns), no 14, p 217, 2 October 1869

The Patent Office

The expenses of the Patent Office under the new management are rapidly decreasing. On July 1st there was an unexpended balance of last year's appropriation of $18,000. This sum will suffice for all current expenses until the end of September. There will then be on hand $30,000 of appropriation for this year. Aside from this saving, the entire work of the office has been performed with fifteen less clerks than the law allows. For the first time the Commissioner's desk is entirely cleared of all back business which had accumulated during the previous administration. Besides savings mentioned, the old appropriation was so managed as to pay for the year's expense of photographing and manifolding drawings, which amounts to $25,000.

We are much pleased to hear so good a report of the Patent Office. In reference to the expense of photographing drawings, we regret to say that the work is by no means what it ought to be. The photographs are not artistically done, and we still prefer to prepare for our own clients a good copy of the drawing to be attached to their patents.


<< Return to Patent History Materials Index