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US Design Patent Registration Guide

Updated:2018-9-4 14:49:52    Source:www.tannet-group.comViews:252

US design patent registration is one way to protect your patent right in the United States. In the United States, a design patent is a form of legal protection granted to the ornamental design of a functional item. A US design patent covers the ornamental design for an object having practical utility. A design patent application is not published and is kept secret until granted. Patents for designs shall be granted for the term of fourteen years from the date of grant.

Definition of a Design Patent
A design patent is a form of intellectual property protection which allows an inventor to protect the original shape or surface ornamentation of a useful manufactured article. Whether an invention falls under the scope of a design patent can be a tricky question. There are two basic criteria for eligibility:

(1) The design must be industrial. Thus, a painting or sculpture is not eligible for design patent protection because it is not separable from a useful object.
(2) The design must not be dictated by the function of the article. That is, if the design specifically affects the way the article works, that design would not be separable from function and would not be eligible for design patent protection (though it may be eligible for a utility patent).

Like all patents, a design patent is a right to exclude. That is, it gives the owner the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, offering to sell or importing articles with the particular design without permission. And design patent rights can be enforced in federal courts. Design patents last for 15 years, with no maintenance fees required.

Information Required of a Design Patent Application
The information of a design patent application should include the following:
(1) Preamble, stating name of the applicant, title of the design, and a brief description of the nature and intended use of the article in which the design is embodied;
(2) Cross-reference to related applications (unless included in the application data sheet).
(3) Statement regarding federally sponsored research or development.
(4) Description of the figure(s) of the drawing;
(5) Feature description;
(6) A single claim;
(7) Drawings or photographs;
(8) Executed oath or declaration.

How to file a Design Patent Application?
The preparation of a design patent application and the conducting of the proceedings in the USPTO to obtain the patent is an undertaking requiring the knowledge of patent law and rules and Patent and Trademark Office practice and procedures. A patent attorney or agent specially trained in this field is best able to secure the greatest patent protection to which applicant is entitled. It would be prudent to seek the services of a registered patent attorney or agent.

Representation, however, is not required. A knowledgeable applicant may successfully prosecute his or her own application. However, while persons not skilled in this work may obtain a patent in many cases, there is no assurance that the patent obtained would adequately protect the particular design.

Contact Us
If you have further inquires, please do not hesitate to contact Tannet at anytime, anywhere by simply visiting Tannet’s website, or calling Hong Kong hotline at 852-27826888 or China hotline at 86-755-82143422, or emailing to You are also welcome to visit our office situated in 16/F, Taiyangdao Bldg 2020, Dongmen Rd South, Luohu, Shenzhen, China.

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