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US Design Patent Application

Updated:2018-5-14 15:28:15    Source:www.tannet-group.comViews:318

US design patent application may only have a single claim. A patent protecting the unique visual qualities of a manufactured item. A design patent may be granted if the product has a distinct configuration, distinct surface ornamentation or both. A design patent should not be confused with a utility patent, which safeguards an item’s unique way of operating. A design patent is valid for 14 years after being awarded and is not renewable.

Elements of a Design Patent Application
The elements 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 of the drawing;
(5) Feature description;
(6) A single claim;
(7) Drawings or photographs;
(8) Executed oath or declaration.

Difference Between Design and Utility Patents
In general terms, a "utility patent" protects the way an article is used and works, while a "design patent" protects the way an article looks. Both design and utility patents may be obtained on an article if invention resides both in its utility and ornamental appearance. While utility and design patents afford legally separate protection, the utility and ornamentality of an article are not easily separable. Articles of manufacture may possess both functional and ornamental characteristics.

The Design Patent Application Process
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.

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