Posts Tagged ‘technology’

Courtroom Animations – Bringing Patents to Life

Monday, June 17th, 2013

      Movies, that is 3D animations, are moving into the courtroom, and intended messages are made clearer than ever as a result.   If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much more effective is a moving 3D image?

      We’ve been viewing a static two-dimensional representation of a machine for the past two blogs.   Have you been able to figure it out yet?   Here it is again:


bringing patent illustrations to life with 3D animations


      Would it help you to understand if I identified it as a piece of food manufacturing equipment equipped with a rake that aligns cookies on a conveyor belt?   Would that verbal description allow you to “see” in your mind’s eye how it operates?   Unless you had the right technical background, it’s unlikely.

      Last week we introduced the verbiage person of ordinary skill in the art as a term widely used within patent litigation.   This person is said to have the ability to interpret and understand patent drawings, and they typically possess a technical and/or scientific background.

      But what if participants in a legal proceeding lack this background?   Technical experts are often hired on as consultants to attorneys, and in some instances, judges, when clarification is required.   These experts provide technical expertise and tutorials on the technology involved in complex cases, and it happens with regularity when the operation of a patented device is in question.

      By employing 3D animations the expert can show how the device operates, rather than attempt to explain it using the technical language of their profession.   The expert works closely with an animation artist to create the animation, providing the technical information that the animator will use to create the fully functional model.   Animators do not typically have the technical background to accomplish this on their own and will require an ongoing dialog with the technical expert to create the animation.

      And now the moment we’ve all been waiting for.   Here is our static image brought to life through animation:



      The animation commands the viewer’s attention and holds their interest, even if they have no background in engineering or science, and the device’s function is now made clear.   It must be noted that in the patent drawing, part of the mechanism lies in front of a steel divider plate and part behind, but for purposes of clarity the entire mechanism has been shown to the front of the plate.   Now there’s no doubt as to how the parts move together to even up the rows of cookies on the conveyor belt.

      Next week we’ll talk about juries, perception, and the advantages of using courtroom animations when at trial.