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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

Hi everyone, I’m J.D. Houvener, your host of the Bold Today Show, where you, the inventor or entrepreneur, get your daily inspiration so you can go make the world a better place.


Alright, today we’re talking about the drawings. We’re especially taking a look this week and next at the Super Soaker. You’ll recognize these drawings right away if you’re jumping in and you missed the first couple of days. We talked about the initial part about honoring this inventor who brought this awesome invention out to help us all enjoy summer and cool off.

Today, we’re jumping in to talk about the drawings. This is going to be a short section. I wanted to introduce these, make sure you’re comfortable reading some of them, the high-level elements about what drawings are about. If you have any further questions, I’ll give you some information later about how to get a hold of us.

What I want to talk about is the first few figures on sheet 1, and there are only two sheets in this pack. You’ll see there are three figures, and fig – one, let’s start there. This is a top view. As you begin to look at patent drawings and patent publications, you’ll get used to different views and try to orient yourself as if you were to take that squirt gun and turn it on the side and just look at it from only the top, rotating it along that vertical axis. This angle shows the recognizable little bottle that holds the water, the shaft of the gun, and the back area where the trigger is. What’s curious about this, at least when I looked at this initially, is that there are lines, vertical lines that go kind of off-center, both on the bottle and even along the shaft. Again, what that is doing is there’s no actual indentation or piece of plastic that runs along that. It’s actually just showing that it’s a curved surface. With patent drawings, you must show three dimensions using two dimensions. You can’t provide a three-dimensional drawing to the Patent Office even today, let alone 1991 when this patent was issued. So, the drawings have to show all the different curvatures, and you’ll see that’s what those lines are for.

One more thing I want to point out to you is you can definitely see all these different exclusion lines pointing to numerals, identifying each different element. Anyway, you’ll go through the different figures. Here is figure one, figure two, and figures three. What’s nice is that it’s required that the elements stay consistent, as you’ll see that numeral one, for example, just points generally to the entire gun. It isn’t pointing to a specific part or piece, and you’ll see that number one being identified in figure just points to the gun in general, talking about it as an entirety, as opposed to these different elements.

You go through and take a look at each different piece, let’s say the shaft or the front of the water bottle itself. That’s actually going to be identified with the same numeral throughout different drawings and different figures.

The last thing you’ll see is a side view, a larger side view. What’s interesting about this drawing is it’s not just showing what you would see. You’ll look at the example, the bottle portion that has the water. There’s a section of view, and very carefully, if you take a close look, it’s showing on the front section and then a cutaway and what the back side of the inside chamber looks like to give you an interesting view from the backside that wouldn’t be available from plain view. This is an engineering type of an approach. Sometimes patent attorneys choose to do a fifth figure here showing the whole cut view, but they decided in this case to show a cut view, and so that’s the different option that they were allowed to do. It’s a selective view, and I think it does it very well.

So, if you have any questions out there about patent drawings or this specific patent, and certainly anything that you have, your invention you want to protect, please give us a call. Go big, go bold.

About the Author
J.D. Houvener is a Registered USPTO Patent Attorney who has a strong interest in helping entrepreneurs and businesses thrive. J.D. leverages his technical background in engineering and experience in the aerospace industry to provide businesses with a unique perspective on their patent needs. He works with clients who are serious about investing in their intellectual assets and provides counsel on how to capitalize their patents in the market. If you have any questions regarding this article or patents in general, consider contacting J.D. at