How to Patent a Consumer Product

Can you patent a consumer product?

Consumer products are filled with innovation. Even a slight improvement might make a consumer product worthy of a patent. You can choose not to pursue patents, but what would be your backup plan? When competitors start copying your innovative product, what is your fallback strategy to stop them?

Ready to patent your consumer product? Contact US patent attorney Vic Lin at or call (949) 223-9623 to explore how we can help you get the right patents for your consumer products.

Aren’t patents too expensive to enforce? Why bother patenting?

At the outset, let me address a myth that could save you from making a colossal mistake. Go online and you will see how everyone has an opinion about patents, but few are experts who know what they are talking about. Federal court litigation is not the only way to enforce patents against competitors.

Nowadays, e-commerce platforms such as Amazon provide their own programs for resolving disputes. In fact, keep reading and you’ll see how you can assert your patents against infringing online sellers.

Which patents are appropriate for the life cycle of your consumer product?

Some consumer products are meant to ride a trend that rises and dies quickly. Though there is nothing wrong that, recognize that certain patents would not fit trendy products that will quickly fall out of style.

With a life cycle of three years or less, for example, consider filing design patents to protect the appearance of your consumer product. Add a Rocket Docket request to speed up the examination of your application and get your design patent possibly granted within one year.

With a life cycle of three to ten years, consider filing a utility patent application with a Track One request to speed up the USPTO’s examination of your utility application. This expedited filing strategy will hopefully give you a utility patent sooner that can be used against competitors who copy your functional features. In addition, you might consider filing a design patent application which may get allowed sooner than your utility patent. That way, you will obtain a design patent as you continue prosecuting your utility application.

With a life cycle greater than 10 years, consider filing a utility patent application to protect the unique functional features.

Should you do a novelty patent search?

Also known as a novelty search, a patentability search may make sense under certain circumstances. Generally, you can skip a patentability search if you plan to file a design patent application without Rocket Docket. Design patent applications enjoy a high average allowance rate of about 84%, so why bother? A patentability search would be required for submitting a Rocket Docket request.

A novelty search may be helpful, but not required for filing a utility patent application. Certain factors may warrant skipping a patentability search such as the requirement to tell the Patent Office what prior art references you are aware of. Another risk is that the owner of a patent uncovered in your search may accuse you of willfully infringing their patent. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

How can you enforce your patents against sellers on Amazon?

With either design or utility patents, you can report infringing listings by Amazon sellers. Within Brand Registry, you can also take advantage of the APEX program to enforce your utility patent against infringing listings. Amazon even offers a neutral patent evaluation program for design patents.

Contact us to explore how we can help you enforce your patents against infringement by Amazon sellers.

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