Patent laws grant design patents to individuals that have invented new, ornamental, or original designs for any article of manufacture. A design patent protects the article’s structure, practicality, and appearance.
Generally, if you want to patent a design, you can file a patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
The protection provided by a design patent guards against copyright infringement. The patent gives its owner the exclusive right to make a profit from a design. A couple of the most famous objects protected by patents were the Statue of Liberty in 1879 and the Coca-Cola bottle in 1915.
The following are some of the steps in the process of applying for a design patent:
The process of obtaining a design patent is relatively simple, but it is important to follow the steps carefully and thoroughly. Doing so will help ensure that your rights are protected and that, if you’re eligible, you’re granted the design patent without any issues.
When filing a patent application, you must have an abstract, a title, a description, figures, a declaration, an application data sheet, and other vital information.
An invention must satisfy three criteria to be eligible for patent protection:
All three criteria must be satisfied in order to successfully obtain a patent.
Did You Know? There is no deadline for filing a patent; however, to protect your rights, you should generally file it as soon as possible.
An individual may acquire utility and design patents on an article if the invention resides in both ornamental and utility aspects. Although there are separate protections for both types of patents in legal terms, it is necessary to assess the ornamental and utilitarian components of the article independently.
According to 37 C.F.R. § 1.153, one claim is associated with a design patent application that describes the novel visual ornamental aspects of the invention. The claim must explain exactly how the design is unique, and it should describe all possible angles and perspectives of the product.
It is important to note that only one claim can be associated with a design patent application as well. If you wish to include multiple claims, you will have to apply for a utility patent.
Patent law in the US allows for a design patent term of 20 years from the filing date of the International P.C.T. application, in which priority must be claimed, excluding provisional applications. Additionally, you must pay maintenance fees in accordance with the relevant regulations.
If you have questions about patenting your design, it is best to consult a patent attorney. Our business attorneys can provide guidance on protecting your design patent in the United States.