Design patents are generally not the first thing that people think of when they think about patents, but they are very useful and just as important as a utility patent. They do, however, address entirely different parts of a product than a utility patent, and it is important that you understand the requirements and criteria to determine if a design patent is the right option for you. When you work with The Patent Professor, the first thing we will do is determine the nature of your invention, the type of patent you will apply for, and then create a roadmap for success. We have over 20 years of experience helping clients apply for patents of all kinds, and will be happy to help you through this exciting journey.
Read more below about design patents, and how The Patent Professor can help you file yours today.
What Is a Design Patent?
A design patent, according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, is the design embodied in or applied to an article of manufacture (or portion thereof) and not the article itself.” In other words, a design patent can not have any utility itself, but must be entirely ornamental. If it does serve a function, then it may need a utility patent, either in place of or alongside the design patent.
Design patents are an important part of product manufacturing, because they protect trusted manufacturers from having their brand devalued by competitors replicating their appearance. Apple just recently won a major court case against Samsung for having their design patents infringed upon. Not only does the design of a product tell a certain story about the product, but it can also have indications to the overall market that show it is of X brand, and therefore, of trustworthy quality. When any competitor is able to copy this appearance, they are using the goodwill of the original brand while putting out products that do not reflect the original company’s standard of quality.
Can I File For a Design Patent?
If you have a product that has a very specific ornamental appearance to it, you may want to strongly consider filing for a design patent. Your application process will be different from the process of a utility patent, because you will need to prove that the appearance serves no functional benefit. In addition, you will need to illustrate that the design is entirely unique, and that you can consistently create that appearance (that it was not just a chance circumstance that led to you getting that design).
If you are trying to decide if you should file for a design patent, a utility patent, or perhaps both for the same invention, contact The Patent Professor today. Read more below about some of the steps we take during the patent application process with our clients and get an idea of how we can help you.
How Can The Patent Professor Help With My Design Patent?
When a new client comes to The Patent Professor, the first step is to determine the nature of the invention, the ability to patent it, and the type of patent we will then apply for. These are a few ways that we can help get you from your original idea to full legal protection.
Determining The Type of Patent To Apply For
Before we go through the entire process of a patent application, we want to be sure we know what type of patent to apply for. In many cases, a design patent may also require a utility patent in order to fully protect your intellectual property. We will go through all of the details of your invention to ensure that we are covering every aspect necessary before moving forward in our process.
Existing Patent Research
After determining the nature of patent we will apply for, we will then go through all existing patents to determine the true uniqueness of your own idea. This is an essential step to the entire application process, because we want to be sure that we have a high likelihood of getting an approval for your application. After we have completed our research, we will give you an idea of how likely you are to be approved, and you will then make the decision to move forward.
Patent Application Process
After we have concluded that it is a good idea to move forward with your design patent application, we will begin the actual process of completing your application. The application is very detailed, to be sure that the USPTO is able to take every aspect of your design into consideration. Although the amount of required information can be very exhausting, it is important that all patent applications are held to this standard to ensure that no existing patents are infringed on, and that no future applications will be blocked because of vague language or descriptions that were allowed into a previous patent.
Contact The Patent Professor Today
Before you begin the process of filing for a design patent on your own, contact The Patent Professor to discuss how we can help. Our clients are able to save time and avoid the many headaches that come along with the application process. Even the most experienced patent-holders oftentimes opt to outsource the application process to a patent attorney, and instead use that time to focus on their product, researching the market, and preparing to capitalize on their intellectual property as soon as they are legally protected.
To begin working towards legally protecting your ideas with the help of a patent attorney, contact The Patent Professor today.