When USPTO says "The same part of an invention appearing in more than one view of the drawing must always be designated by the same reference character, and the same reference character must never be used to designate different parts" , do they really mean the same element or just exactly the same part? If I have drawings of different embodiments where parts performing the same function in the invention are differently shaped and in different positions, are they still the same part that should have the same reference character?

1 Answer 1


Differently shaped means they are different parts. I often use the prime symbol i.e. part 100 and part 100' to emphasize the relationship but have a distinct label.

Differently located but physically identical should have the same label.

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