Design Patent

What Protection Does a Design Patent Provide?

Not all innovations have a utility – some are just unique in design. Those designs can be protected by a Design Patent.

From physical products to computer user interfaces and even clothing – a Design Patent protects the aesthetic qualities (the look) of your product from substantially similar variations.

Just having the term “Patented” on your product creates a substantial deterrent to competitors who would otherwise copy your creativity.

Easy and Inexpensive

Design Patents are relatively inexpensive and quick to obtain in comparison to other patents.

The Limits of a Design Patent

Unlike Utility Patents, which protect function, Design Patents only protect the look. The level of protection is therefore limited to non-functional aesthetics.

The Responsibility of Policing the Competition

After registration, you are responsible for policing your competitors and enforcing your rights

Also See Our Other Patent Services:

Frequently Asked Questions

Any person who has invented or discovered a new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter may obtain a patent for it. This also includes any new or useful improvement on a past invention. Laws of nature and theories are not patentable. This requirement is outlined in title 35 of the United Stated Code, Section 101 (abbreviated as 35 U.S.C. 101). You do not need to have actually constructed or used your invention to get a patent on it. Having a good idea of how your invention is made and used is sufficient.

A Design Patent will protect your design and any “substantial similar” designs like it for 15 years.

If you don’t file a U.S. Patent Application within 12 months of public disclosure (such as sharing your idea with others) or within 12 months of offering your invention for sale to the public, you lose your patent rights. Even still, the longer you wait, the greater the risk of someone else filing a Patent Application for the idea you came up with first.

Important Note: Although the U.S. gives you a 12 month “grace” period to file a Patent Application after your first public disclosure, most other countries in the world do not. This means, in those countries, you will have lost your patent rights if you’ve made a public disclosure before filing the U.S. Patent Application.

Patent Resources

Free, AI-powered Patent Search Tool. You can now run your own free, confidential preliminary patent search and generate a custom report of the results. No commitments or limitations! Click here to get started.

Can I Use a Competitor’s Name in Advertising?

In general, it is not illegal to compare yourself to your competitor in the advertising context, so long it is not untruthful, disparaging, misleading, or confusing to the public. Additionally, the use of a competitor’s trademark cannot lead the public to believe that the company is endorsing you. But what do those generic rules look like in practical application?

Adding Subject Matter to International Patents

Applicant will not have to deal with combating their own prior art under § 103 in the United States, international jurisdictions tend to be more stringent in their considerations.  

International Patents: Grace Periods after Public Disclosures

Once a public disclosure is made, the public disclosure bars the filing of a patent application in almost all jurisdictions. However, in the United States, there is a 12 month grace period starting from the public disclosure to file a patent application. A patent filing in the US does not count as prior art if we make a US filing before a public disclosure. Therefore, we have two routes to file applications in other countries.

Can I Get Trademark Protection For A Board Game?

Trademark Protection for Board Games Jump to: Most savvy entrepreneurs know to apply for trademarks on their product names, company names, logos and slogans. Of those, inventors who make board games often go straight to patent filings and forget about the trademark analysis, as explored in my article here: This article considers a sub-category of…

Are Figures or Drawings Required for a Provisional Patent?

Figures or drawings are not always required for a provisional patent. However, if figures or drawings are necessary for a person of ordinary skill in the field of your invention to understand your invention, then they are required for a provisional patent. 

Who Can Be Considered an Inventor on My Patent Application?

In general, it’s good practice to list everyone that has made a contribution to a substantive or significant portion of the invention as an inventor. Legally, an inventor is anyone who has contributed to the conception of what is claimed as the invention you wish to protect.