I hired a patent attorney to draft a software patent for an app.

I took screenshots of the app and sent it over to my attorney.

They said that they will add them to the patent application.

But I have never seen a patent application with screenshots instead of actual drawings?

  • 2
    Did your practitioner specifically state that the screenshots would be included as images in the application? If so, run. But I think the most likely thing that happened here is the practitioner casually said they would "add" them to the patent application when they meant converting them to line drawings.
    – bhuff36
    Commented Jun 11 at 6:16
  • 1
    To be fair, at least one of my patents includes a couple of screenshots. patents.google.com/patent/US8005625B2/…
    – Eric S
    Commented 2 days ago
  • Was it a provisional application? Non-standard figures are acceptable in that case.
    – George White
    Commented 19 hours ago
  • @EricS - in the case of your linked patent the screen shots look a lot like line drawings.
    – George White
    Commented 19 hours ago
  • @GeorgeWhite Okay, maybe not the prettiest GUI, but my internal users were happy with it. When you get a mechanical engineer writing software, you take what you get.
    – Eric S
    Commented 12 hours ago

1 Answer 1


The patent attorney may add a screenshot or two if it helps describe the invention. I've had this done in a couple of my patents. There were a lot of other figures and diagrams in the normal patent forms that were the meat of the specification. Hopefully you've provided at least informal figures sufficient to let the attorney draft the specification. I think it would be highly unlikely that screenshots, by themselves, would be sufficient.

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