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Guide for applicants, Part 1: How to get a European patent

 
 
Drawings
94
The requirements governing the representation of your invention in the drawings are set out in Rules 46, 48 and 49. Reference signs not mentioned in the description and claims must not be used in the drawings, and vice versa. The same features, when denoted by reference signs, must be denoted by the same signs throughout the application.
Guid. A-IX
Guid. F-II, 5
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Drawings must not contain text matter except, when absolutely indispensable, keywords such as "water", "steam", "open", "closed", "section on AB" and, on electric circuits and block schematics or flow sheet diagrams, short catchwords indispensable for understanding. Any such keywords must be placed in such a way that they can be replaced by their translations without interfering with any lines of the drawings.
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Flow sheets and diagrams are considered to be drawings.  
96a
Good-quality drawings are very important for the correct disclosure of the invention. If the drawings are unreadable, e.g. completely black, you may not be allowed to file better-quality drawings at a later stage, disclosing more details than those originally filed.
Although the EPC has no express provisions for photographs, they are nevertheless allowed. Colour photographs are scanned and made available in the electronic file in black and white. 
Guid. A-IX, 1.2
If you file the application in electronic form, you have the advantage that the original quality of the drawings will be available to the EPO and no deficiency communication would be issued, which may happen when you file drawings on paper and only the scanned version is available to the EPO.