The Most Common Design Patent Application Rejections (and How to Avoid Them) – Part II
In Part I of this article, we examined the top three rejections for design patent applications, which are due to non-enablement, inconsistency, and ambiguousness. The fourth most common reason for rejection of design patents is for objections to the drawing disclosure, which we will discuss here. Objections to the drawings occur when something is incorrectly shown in the drawings, but the drawings are still understood by the Examiner. In the stereo receiver example above, if the bottom plan view was present in the original disclosure but the front elevational view did not show shading on the feet, the Examiner would likely issue an objection, stating that shading was not shown on the front surface of the feet and should be. (If the bottom plan view was not part of the originally filed drawings, then the Examiner would be issuing a Sec. 112 rejection instead of merely an objection since there’s not enough information to understand the shape of the feet and the feet will have to be disclaimed by converting them to broken lines.) Objections to the drawings are usually easy to overcome, but they still must be overcome by submitting replacement sheets. This decreases the efficiency of your operation and increases client costs, so objections are important to minimize by carefully reviewing your drawings before submission.