Ask Patents is a question and answer site for people interested in improving and participating in the patent system. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a Design patent and a Provisional patent in play at the moment. I looked at the progress in PAIR for both and things seem to be hunky dory.

I decided to have a look at the drawings portion in the "image file wrapper" section.

The "quality" of the drawings in the Design Patent are markedly much much better than the quality in the Provisional drawings. Resolution appears to be the big difference and the provisional drawings are so horrible, some of the details that are crystal clear in the PDF I sent are pretty much just some black dots here and there.

The quality in the Design patent drawings are better, but again some details are lost.

Does the patent office only use these partially digested drawings later or do they later try their best to use the actual quality sent to them via PDF?

Why would the provisional drawings be so much worse than the ones in the design patent application?



share|improve this question
No - there is not a good version tucked away. It is pretty clear that they do some lossy compression on drawings. If a drawing meets their standards for black and white line drawings of prescribed line widths and minimum font sizes, it comes through fine. One way to improve your chances, other than following the standards, is to set the document category to "drawings other than black and white line drawings". There is no penalty for using that setting and the figures seem improved. I have seen drawings submitted by inventors themselves that are blank pages when viewed after uploading. – George White Jul 10 '14 at 5:51
Rats. Is there anyway to change the document category after submission and not screw everything up? – JSH Jul 10 '14 at 17:38
Administrative people within the USPTO frequently decide that you have attached the wrong code (document type) to something and go in and fix it. My guess is that whatever happens differently happens at the time of uploading. You can call the inventors assistance line. – George White Jul 10 '14 at 19:32

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.