What You Need to Know About Design Patents

A design patent protects anyone who has invented a “new and non-obvious” design for a manufactured article. This gives intellectual property rights for the appearance of the article, but not for its structure, function or composition like a utility patent would. However, both a design and utility patent can be acquired for your invention if it is both new in its structure, function, or composition and its appearance.

Before filing for your design patent in Orange County, there are several things that you should know, such as:

  • What you’ll need to complete the application process;
  • What patent law entitles you to; and
  • How to go about protecting your intellectual property.

Perhaps the best way to get expert advice is to contact an Orange County patent attorney. The information below will give you an overview of design patent law.

Application Process for a Design Patent

When filing for your design patent there are specific rules to follow. You must submit in English, in typewritten text, and in permanent black ink. There are also specifications regarding the paper size and the spacing of the margins, all of which are listed by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Your Orange County patent attorney can talk to you about how to file your design patent application with the USPTO.

With the application you will need to submit a drawing that depicts the appearance of your design. You will also need to pay the necessary application fees.

What does a design patent entitle me to?

A design patent will protect the property rights to your invention. It will prevent anyone else from making, using, or selling your design. Under patent law, these rights will be effective for a term of 14 years from the date of the grant.

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