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Numbering the elements of a drawing in a patent application

Numbering the elements of a drawing in a patent application
« on: February 13, 2015, 12:30:13 PM »
In some guidelines that I have seen, the suggestion is made to number the elements of a drawing beginning with the number 10 with subsequent element numbers using only even numbers.  E.g., 10, 12, 14, .... etc.

But in actual issued patent documents that I have seen, I notice that the elements in a drawing frequently start with the number 1 and then the elements a simply a sequence.  E.g., 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, .... etc.

It seems to me to use a simple sequence of numbers starting with #1.  Is there any reason to use even numbers only?  Does the patent office care?

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Re: Numbering the elements of a drawing in a patent application
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2015, 01:52:02 PM »
There is no rule about this and each patent attorney/agent does it differently.   The only rule is that each number can only = one feature so if you are writing a patent on a car and you use the number 52 as a "steering wheel" then number 52 must always be used for steering wheel in all the drawings and in the text each time you use the word steering wheel you would write the number 52 after it.  (note this part of the rule only applies to the "DETAILED DESCRIPTION" section of the text)

My personal preference is I like to start with a higher number like 100 and work up from there in order (101, 102, 103, 104, 105, etc.).  The reason for this is that you may have figures numbered as FIG. 1, FIG. 2, FIG. 3, etc. so it is confusing if you are talking about FIG. 3 and feature 3.

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Re: Numbering the elements of a drawing in a patent application
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2015, 04:12:08 PM »
Thank you, Brad.

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Re: Numbering the elements of a drawing in a patent application
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2015, 06:28:34 AM »
I've read that the reason for using only odd or even numbers to begin with is so that you can add new numbers later on and still keep your part numbers in a logical order. I also like to start with 100 or 101 for the first embodiment, 200 or 201 for the second embodiment and so on, but this only works if you don't have more than 100 parts in each embodiment.
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Brad

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Re: Numbering the elements of a drawing in a patent application
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2015, 03:25:07 PM »
That is an interesting trick about starting with only odd numbers.  Thanks for sharing!

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