…patent drawings from the 1800s and even early- to mid-1900s featured artistic techniques like shading, multiple perspectives and texture, today’s patent drawings are often embarrassing doodles at best. We can blame both cultural changes and adjustments in patent application rules. For one, the patent office no longer requires that patent applicants hire an official draftsman to draw an invention. And in 2000, the PTO adjusted its rules to decrease how often applicants need to revise their drawings with corrections.
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The tumblr http://peopleofpatents.tumblr.com/ regularly posts some of the really whacky “art” that turns up in patent filings.