MOPOP - Chapter 10


Table of Contents

Drawings - September 2015

Inventions which can be illustrated by means of drawings must be so illustrated in an application for a patent.  The role of the drawings is to clarify the principles of the construction of a device rather than to provide particular details of dimensions or relative proportions.  The drawings must clearly show all parts of the invention (subsection 37(1) of the Patent Act).  Known devices may be illustrated by symbols which have a universally recognized conventional meaning provided that no further detail is essential for understanding the subject-matter of the invention.  Where text matter in the drawings would give a better understanding of the drawings, a single word or a few words may be used.  Blank “blocks” in schematic diagrams must be descriptively labelled.  Figures in the drawings which illustrate the prior art should be labelled “PRIOR ART”.

Each drawing must include reference characters corresponding with those in the description, and the Commissioner may require further drawings or dispense with any of them as the Commissioner sees fit (subsection 37(2) of the Patent Act).

Whenever drawings are provided in an application, they must conform to the provisions of sections 72 and 82 and subsections 69(2), 71(3), 74(1) and 75(2) of the Patent Rules.  Subsection 80(2) of the Patent Rules permits reference to the drawings before the “Brief Description of the Drawings” when the reference is made in respect of prior art.

Amendments to drawings

Subsection 38.2(1) of the Patent Act states that the specification and any drawings furnished as part of an application may be amended before the patent is issued. Drawings may not be amended to add matter not reasonably to be inferred from the specification or drawings as originally filed, except in so far as it is admitted in the specification that the matter is prior art with respect to the application (subsection 38.2(3) of the Patent Act).

Detailed information on making amendments to patent applications can be found in Chapter 19 of this manual.

Photographs - September 2015

In any case in which an invention does not admit of illustration by means of drawings but does admit of illustration by means of photographs, the applicant may, as part of the application, furnish photographs, or photocopies of photographs, that illustrate the invention (section 83 of the Patent Rules).

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