What does a design patent protect?

Should you file a design patent application? Without a doubt, design patents are cheaper and quicker to obtain than utility patents. The low cost and low probability of rejections certainly make design patents an appealing option for cash-strapped startups seeking some type of protection. If the appearance of your product or concept is arguably unique, […]

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How to speed up design patent applications

Can you speed up design patent applications? Yes, you can speed up the examination of design patent applications. Applicants may file a request for expedited examination (aka Rocket Docket). Keep in mind that the average wait time (pendency) for a first Office Action in design applications is about 14 months (as of November 2019). Keep […]

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How to protect product parts with design patents

Is patenting replacement parts a smart IP strategy? If there is a market for secondary product parts, it may make sense to file design patent applications to protect the ornamental appearance of each visually unique component. It is not uncommon for an overall product to be protected by multiple design patents covering individual parts. This […]

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Can fashion and clothing be protected with design patents?

Protecting fashion with design patents In the fashion world, looks matter. Design patents are all about protecting unique ornamental appearances, so it makes sense for the fashion industry to consider this type of IP before launching new lines. Keep in mind that US design patents have specific requirements that may differ from design laws of […]

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GUI Design Patents: What to know

Is US design patent protection available for a graphical user interface (GUI)? Yes, it is possible to obtain a US design patent on a graphical user interface. The patent examining rules refer to GUIs as two-dimensional Computer-Generated Icons which may be statutory subject matter (read protectable) if they comply with certain guidelines [see MPEP 1504.01(a)]. […]

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What is the design patent application process and cost?

What is the design patent application process? The examination process (aka “prosecution”) for a US design patent application comprises three main stages: initial filing; Office Actions (if any); and allowance. How to file a US design patent application The initial filing a design patent application with the USPTO is fairly straightforward. The two primary components […]

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Can a single design patent application include multiple designs?

Can a single design patent application include multiple designs? In limited circumstances, you might be able to include multiple designs in a US design patent application. However, you should think twice before including multiple embodiments since the risk is high that a multi-design application will lead to higher costs in the long term. What are […]

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What Should Chinese Applicants Know About US Design Patents?

Reasons for ProcuringĀ US Design Patents Chinese design patent owners will already know the benefits of design patent protection in the US. Unlike US utility patents, a typical US design patent may be obtained more quickly and for less money. The allowance rate of US design applications, particularly upon a first review by the patent examiner […]

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