MPEP 2125

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← MPEP 2124 ↑ MPEP 2100 MPEP 2126 →


2125 Drawings as Prior Art[edit | edit source]

DRAWINGS CAN BE USED AS PRIOR ART[edit | edit source]

Drawings and pictures can anticipate claims if they clearly show the structure which is claimed. However, the picture must show all the claimed structural features and how they are put together. The origin of the drawing is immaterial. For instance, drawings in a design patent can anticipate or make obvious the claimed invention as can drawings in utility patents. When the reference is a utility patent, it does not matter that the feature shown is unintended or unexplained in the specification. The drawings must be evaluated for what they reasonably disclose and suggest to one of ordinary skill in the art. See MPEP § 2121.04 for more information on prior art drawings as "enabled disclosures."

PROPORTIONS OF FEATURES IN A DRAWING ARE NOT EVIDENCE OF ACTUAL PROPORTIONS WHEN DRAWINGS ARE NOT TO SCALE[edit | edit source]

When the reference does not disclose that the drawings are to scale and is silent as to dimensions, arguments based on measurement of the drawing features are of little value.

However, the description of the article pictured can be relied on, in combination with the drawings, for what they would reasonably teach one of ordinary skill in the art.