Margin of Error: Document Formatting for the UK

Just a quick post for anyone looking for information relating to document formatting for UK specifications. In the words of the UK Intellectual Property Office’s Code of Practice:

“a. The presentation of the application (including drawings) should meet the requirements of rule 14 of the Patents Rules 2007 (see 14.26 – 14.57). For example, documents must be legible and capable of reproduction, and the margins should be kept clear and free from headers or footers denoting references or other matter (see 14.28).” [Section 5. – page 9 of the PDF.]

Rule 14 then makes reference to Schedule 2 of the Patent Rules 2007. I will not repeat it, it is not that exciting.

The important points from Schedule 2 for an online filing are:

  • Frames (lines surrounding matter) must not be used.
  • The pages of the description and claims must be numbered consecutively in a single series.
  • Page numbers must be located at the top or bottom of the page (but not in the margin) in the centre.
  • The minimum margins in any document must be 20mm.
  • Each of the following: the request for the grant, the description, the claims, and the abstract, must begin on a new sheet of paper.
  • The abstract, description and claims must use at least 1.5 line spacing, except where they form part of a translation or a sequence listing.
  • The capital letters in any typeface or font used must be more than 2mm high.

For the drawings:

  • Margins must be at least: 20mm top and left, 15mm right and 10mm bottom.
  • No shading.
  • Should still be clear if reduced in size to 66% of its original size.
  • The capital letters in any typeface or font used in any drawing must be more than 3mm high.

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