How To Get A Design Patent? Master The Art Of Design Protection!

How To Get A Design Patent?

Do you have a unique and original design for an article of manufacture, such as a product, a logo, or a pattern?

If so, you may want to protect your design from being copied or imitated by others.

One way to do that is to get a design patent, which grants you the exclusive right to make, use, or sell your design for 15 years in the United States.

A design patent is different from a utility patent, which covers the functional aspects of an invention.

A design patent only covers the appearance of the design, not its structure or utility.

Therefore, a design patent is easier and cheaper to obtain than a utility patent, but it also offers less protection.

In this article, I will show you how to get a design patent in the US, step by step.

I will also explain the benefits and drawbacks of getting a design patent, and some tips and tricks to make your application process smoother and faster.

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What is a Design Patent?

A design patent is a type of patent that protects the ornamental features of an article of manufacture.

An article of manufacture can be anything that is made by humans, such as a product, a device, a tool, a machine, a furniture, a clothing, a jewelry, a toy, a logo, a pattern, etc.

A design patent does not protect the functional aspects of the article, such as how it works, what it does, or what it is made of.

It only protects the way it looks, such as its shape, configuration, or surface ornamentation.

For example, a design patent can protect the shape of a bottle, the pattern on a fabric, or the logo on a product.

However, it cannot protect the material of the bottle, the function of the fabric, or the meaning of the logo.

A design patent is different from a trademark, which protects a word, a phrase, a symbol, or a design that identifies the source of a product or service.

It does not indicate the origin or quality of the article, but only its appearance.

A design patent is also different from a copyright, which protects the original expression of an idea, such as a literary, artistic, musical, or dramatic work.

It does not protect the idea behind the design, but only the design itself.

How to Get a Design Patent?

Getting a design patent involves several steps and requires adherence to specific guidelines and regulations.

In this section, I will guide you through the process of filing a design patent application.

Step 1: Conduct a Patent Search

Before you file a the application, you should conduct a patent search to discover if your design or a similar one has already been patented or published by someone else.

This can help you avoid wasting time and money on a design that is not patentable, or that may infringe someone else’s patent.

You can conduct a patent search using various online tools, such as the USPTO’s Patent Public Search tool, the Inventor Search Assistant, or other patent databases.

You can also hire a patent attorney or agent to do the search for you, as they have more experience and expertise in this field.

When you conduct a patent search, you should look for design patents that have the same or similar ornamental features as your design, such as the shape, configuration, or surface ornamentation.

You should also look for design patents that are applied to the same or similar articles of manufacture as your design.

Step 2: Prepare a Patent Application

After you conduct a patent search and confirm that your design is patentable, you should prepare a patent application that describes and claims your design.

A the application consists of the following elements:

  • A preamble, stating the name of the applicant, the title of the design, and a brief description of the nature and intended use of the article in which the design is embodied.
  • A cross-reference to related applications, if any.
  • A statement regarding federally sponsored research or development, if any.
  • A description of the figure(s) of the drawing.
  • A feature description, if necessary.
  • A single claim, defining the design that you claim as your invention.
  • Drawings or photographs, showing the design from different views and perspectives, and indicating the features that are part of the claimed design and those that are not.

Step 3: Submit a Patent Application

After you prepare a patent application, you should submit it to the USPTO, along with the payment of the required fees.

You can submit your patent application electronically, using the USPTO’s Electronic Filing System (EFS-Web), or by mail, using the USPTO’s mailing address.

You should submit your patent application as soon as possible, as the USPTO grants design patents based on the first-to-file principle, which means that the first person who files a patent application for a design gets the patent, regardless of who invented it first.

Step 4: Respond to Office Actions

After you submit your patent application, the USPTO will assign a patent examiner to examine your application and determine if your design meets the patentability requirements.

The patent examiner will also search for prior art that may affect your patentability.

The patent examiner will issue an office action, which is a written communication that informs you of the status of your application, and any objections or rejections that the examiner has made.

You will receive the office action by mail or by email, depending on how you filed your application.

Also, You should respond to the office action within the specified time limit, which is usually six months from the date of the office action.

You can respond to the office action by submitting arguments, amendments, or evidence to overcome the objections or rejections, or by requesting an interview with the examiner to discuss your application.

Step 5: Receive a Patent Grant or a Final Rejection

After you respond to the office action, the patent examiner will review your response and issue a notice of allowance, which is a written communication that informs you that your application is allowed and that you will receive a patent grant, or a final rejection, which is a written communication that informs you that your application is rejected and that you have no further right to appeal.

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