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I am doing drawings for my utility patent, which is a computer process that includes some user feedback in text. I don't know and don't want to limit by specifying exactly what the feedback will be, but I know that it will consist of a set of text values, for example Value1:XXXX, Value2: XXXXX, Value3: XXXXX and so on. I consider that the method of displaying the user feedback is worth a drawing for my invention. Currently, I'm just placing XXXX in the figure where a string of text would be on the display. I know USPTO doesn't like words on the drawings. Is there a/what is the recommended way to represent "there is arbitrary text here whose value does not matter to the invention" in a drawing?

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  • They discourage text in drawings due to issues of translation since drawings do not get translated. But almost every patent has text in drawings so do not worry about that. – George White Apr 19 at 21:05
  • Hopefully placeholder "xxxx" text especially should be fine. – J S Apr 19 at 23:51
  • No need to translate. – George White Apr 20 at 0:47
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I do not think there is a 'recommended way', what you should do is explicitly state that the value/text could be something else as well. So in the drawings you include the text you mentioned or an actual value/text, but in the description you state something like: in Fig. # an exemplary value/text has been represented for the sake of clarity, the disclosure is not limited to the illustrated value/text, other possible values/text are also part of the present disclosure.

The skilled person should know what other value/text could that be based on your disclosure and the common general knowledge in the art. If you do not explicitly state what those other values/text might be, it is unlikely that you will able to include those in the claims in case that may be beneficial for the patentability of the invention.

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  • So I could say "Text represented by <placeholder> in figure 2 represents a displayed label, which label may have content pertaining to the data being displayed and is not limited to the text shown in the drawing"? – J S Apr 19 at 17:43
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    @JS Yes. What matters is that you disclose that the represented text is an example and that there are many more alternatives not illustrated but are also encompassed by the disclosure. – the Europeist Apr 19 at 20:26

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