Design patents are a specific type of legal protection that address the aesthetics, appearance, ornamental value and outward makeup of an object or invention. They may be acquired by themselves or in conjunction with other types of patents, such as utility patents. When you hold a design patent over a certain article, you have a legal claim over all aspects of the way that it looks. If you are wondering about the ins and outs of design patents, how they work, what they apply to and how you can go about applying for one, look no further to find the answers.
1.Question: Do I need a utility patent or a design patent?
In order to answer this question, you will have to ask yourself some more questions about the object or invention that is in question. Are you trying to protect an object that you have created or manufactured or is it an idea or process about the way something works? If you are trying to patent an idea, methodology or process, you need a utility patent. Is the appearance of the object or machine an integral and important aspect of its uniqueness? If so, you will definitely want to seek out a design patent to protect its appearance from being copied or stolen. Is your invention functional as well as aesthetically oriented? If this is the case, you may want to explore applying for both a utility and a design patent on the same object to protect both its functionality and its appearance.
2.Question: If I get a design patent, what legal rights do I have over that design?
Once you have the ownership over the design of a particular object, machine or other invention, you have the legal right to protect its concept from being used, copied or modified for the next 14 years. You do not need to pay any fees to maintain your patent during this time. If an individual or a group attempts to use your patented design or some integral aspect of it during this period, you will have the legal right to file a formal claim in court against the infringer. It will also be important if you decide to distribute, sell or manufacture any objects that use your design.
3.Question: What should I include in my design patent application?
When filing for a design patent, you must include a number of different elements in your application, such as a basic introduction, references to any related patent applications and information on any funding you have received. You must include a high-quality drawing or depiction of the exact appearance of your design as well as a description of the images or photographs. These images are unchangeable once you submit your application. Enclose a claim that details the aspects or entirety of your design that you are requesting a patent on. Your claim must include an oath swearing that this design belongs to you. Also, remember to include the appropriate payment for processing, which may include filing fees, search fees and examination fees.
4.Question: How do I show the specifics of my design when I file for a patent?
It is important to include reproductions of your design in the form of photographs, drawings, blueprints, graphics and other images when applying for a patent. Many inventors choose to utilize the services of a professional patent artist when submitting design patent claims, as these individuals can create accurate, complete drawings that will render the exact appearance of your object.
Now that you are familiar with what it takes to get a design patent and when it is appropriate to apply for one, you should be prepared to deal with any design patenting issues that come your way.
The content on our website is only meant to provide general information and is not legal advice. We make our best efforts to make sure the information is accurate, but we cannot guarantee it. Do not rely on the content as legal advice. For assistance with legal problems or for a legal inquiry please contact you attorney.