Whereas a utility patent protects the structure of an article and the way in which it functions, a design patent protects the way an article looks – its ornamental features. Thus, design patents offer protection for the inventive efforts of the artist/designer. Design patents are available to protect the ornamental features of virtually any sort of tangible article or machine, including automobiles, furniture, toys and dolls, and jewelry, to name a few. Once a design patent is granted, the patent owner will have the right to exclude others from making, using, or selling the patented design for a period of 14 years.
What are the requirements for a design patent?
The requirements for a design patent are quite similar to the requirements for a utility patent. The process is complicated and hiring professional patent agency, such as InventHelp is recommended. Read more about InventHelp on UrbanMatter.
The design sought to be patented must be novel and not obvious to a designer of ordinary skill in the art. An application for a design patent must be submitted, and during the patenting process, the inventor and anyone else associated with the application have the same duty to be honest with the U.S.P.T.O., and to disclose any relevant prior art.
How is a design patent application different from a utility patent application?
A design patent application is very different from a utility patent application. The primary difference between the two is that in a design patent application, the patent drawings are the most important part of the application, because the patent drawings show and define what is being claimed as the invention. The written specification portion of the application is usually very short. A typical specification will include a preamble naming the inventor or inventors and stating the name of the invention, following by a listing of each drawing figure and a very brief (usually one sentence) description of what the drawing figure shows. The written specification then concludes with a brief claim, usually written in the form “I claim the ornamental design for a [ARTICLE], as shown and described.”
It’s important to note that the patent drawings for a design patent application must show the article from every relevant perspective, and must show every feature that is a part of the claimed design. Moreover, the depiction of the various design features must be totally consistent from view to view. Inventors can get support from InventHelp with these. If any feature is shown that is not intended to be a part of the claimed design, it must be shown in a particular manner and the fact that it is not intended as a part of the design must be noted in the written description. If the drawings are not clear, complete, and consistent, the patent examiner may reject the patent claim.