How are utility drawings different from design drawings?

In a design patent, the figures are typically limited to a single embodiment. Design figures must meet strict drawings requirement and show the claimed design from certain views/angles (e.g., front, rear, top, bottom, left and right).

Utility patent drawings do not require any particular views. Utility patents commonly include drawings showing several embodiments, or examples of the invention. If a utility application involves a mechanical invention, it may help to show exploded and cross-sectional views to provide adequate disclosure of components and the internal parts of a device. Operative views that show a device in use in an intended environment may also be helpful.

Utility patents may also include block diagrams and flowcharts, especially when business methods and software are involved. Method diagrams may help to provide support for method claims, even when the overall nature of the invention is more directed to an apparatus.

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