I have been researching design patent drawings, and from what I read they typically have to be shaded, I just found an example of the GoPro Karma Drone Battery, and it appears to have no shading.

Can you get away without shading? link to design patent drawings for gopro battery enter image description here

2 Answers 2


It's fine to not have surface shading, as long as your drawings are clear without it. That is, surface shading is just one technique that is used to completely and adequately show the nature of the design you are claiming.

MPEP § 1503.02(II) specifically addresses this exactly question.

While surface shading is not required under 37 CFR 1.152, it may be necessary in particular cases to shade the figures to show clearly the character and contour of all surfaces of any 3-dimensional aspects of the design. Surface shading is also necessary to distinguish between any open and solid areas of the article. However, surface shading should not be used on unclaimed subject matter, shown in broken lines, to avoid confusion as to the scope of the claim.

Lack of appropriate surface shading in the drawing as filed may render the design nonenabling and indefinite under 35 U.S.C. 112(a) and (b), (or for applications filed prior to September 16, 2012, 35 U.S.C. 112, first and second paragraphs). Additionally, if the surface shape is not evident from the disclosure as filed, the addition of surface shading after filing may comprise new matter.

  • Thanks Maca! I see, I ended up figuring out how to add surface shading to the 3D cad drawing in Photoshop, using threshold effect and then a hatch pattern overlay, it was a little tricky, what makes it the most confusing at first is all the symbol shading types, plus I'm not the best at drawing by hand, I am doing metal surface, which seems diagonal kind of hatch lines represent according to USPTO site, they even have shading patterns for color! I like the idea of no shading for simplicity but I felt mine needed it.
    – Jeff
    Commented Feb 15, 2018 at 10:00

As correctly pointed by Maca, surface shading is not required as long as drawings are clear without it. I have made hundreds of design patent drawings and several of them are without shading. It all depends on the design at hand.

  • Please only add answers where there is substantial new content. Concurring with an already existing answer is not needed. As you gain reputation, you will get the ability to add comments. This answer is probably better handled as a comment.
    – Eric S
    Commented Sep 6, 2020 at 23:24

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .