How to Patent a Design
If you are wondering how to patent a design, you have come to the right place. There are a few requirements you must meet in order to be able to patent your design. A design must be new, ornamental, and applicable to an article of manufacture. Additionally, it must be repeatable. For further details on how to patent a design, read on. Here are the basics:
They must be ornamental
How to patent an ornamental design is a great way to protect your original design from unauthorized copying. This type of patent only covers the appearance of an object, not the way it functions or is constructed. Therefore, it is essential that you have patent drawings of your design before you submit your application. A patent attorney can help you with this process. A patent attorney will review the case and perform a thorough search. They will also ensure that the drawings meet the specifications for ornamental designs.
There are several benefits to submitting an application for an ornamental design patent. It will cost you much less than a utility patent and will be processed faster. An application for a design patent will take about one or two years, while a utility patent application can take up to three years. Moreover, it protects design elements, such as logos, symbols, and colors, rather than the entire product. Hence, it is a good option for designers and manufacturers who do not invent new products.
To get a patent for an ornamental design, you need to submit it to the patent office within 12 months of public release. This process can take up to three years, although most designs are reviewed within less than two years. If approved, the patent will last for 15 years. In addition, companies without an ornamental design patent may be able to legally copy the design, thereby affecting their business. A smaller company may lose money if it cannot protect its designs from imitation.
They must be applied to an article of manufacture
A patent must be applied to an article of manufacture to be valid. Natural objects, for example, cannot be patented. While they can undergo chemical processes, such as impregnation, they do not qualify as an article of manufacture. Additionally, transitory and incorporeal objects, signals, and intangible objects cannot be considered articles of manufacture. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is currently seeking input from the public to expand the definition of an article of manufacture.
To be eligible for patent protection, an article of manufacture must have ornamental features that make it distinctive and useful. This means that the appearance cannot only be aesthetic, but must also be reproducible. This rule does not apply to surface ornamentation or scheme-based articles of manufacture. Similarly, a spider web design that is not capable of reproduction cannot be patentable. Nevertheless, a design that meets these requirements may be eligible for a patent.
In addition to ornamental designs, an article of manufacture can also be protected by a design patent. Both categories offer separate protection for the ornamental look of an article. A design patent, for example, protects a design or ornamental appearance, while a utility patent covers functional features. This patent must be applied to an article of manufacture in order to be effective. This type of patent protects a variety of articles of manufacture, including new processes and materials.
They must be repeatable
A design patent can protect any surface decoration or configuration of a product, but in order to qualify for a patent, it must be repeatable. For example, a company had developed a novel way of applying decorative coatings to wallpaper, but they were denied a patent because their method was not repeatable. This could have protected all designs created using this process. However, it was later discovered that methods could not be patented.
They are cheaper to obtain
It’s easier to get a patent for your invention than you might think. The average US patent costs $50,000, but the cost of patenting your invention can be significantly lower. Prices vary widely, however, and are based on the complexity of the invention and the patent attorney you hire. However, design patents are usually much cheaper to obtain than utility patents, especially if you’re designing clothing or fashion accessories. And even though they’re cheaper to obtain, they’re not free!
The costs of obtaining a patent are based on the level of technical disclosure and the number of claims. This means that stronger patents require more technical disclosure and detailed description of as many alternatives as possible. This means that the attorney you hire will have to spend more time working with you. However, the costs of obtaining a patent are worth it if you get one with the highest priority. After all, the cost of a patent will likely increase if your product is widely available in the market.
You can also obtain a design patent, which is considerably cheaper but has fewer protection. The lifespan of a design patent is very short and can be easily overcome by significant changes in the design. Design patents are particularly difficult to obtain for rapidly changing industries. And unlike utility patents, design patents don’t have the same protection as a utility one. If you need protection for a design, you might consider copyrights instead.
They are easier to enforce
Patents and trade secrets both have advantages and disadvantages. Trade secrets generally last longer than patents. For example, Google probably wants to keep its search algorithm secret for at least 20 years. Given that Google owns a near monopoly over the internet, there is little to gain by disclosing it. Patents, however, are easier to enforce. Unlike trade secrets, which are subject to state laws, patents are uniform across the world.
Design patents are extremely effective against infringers. Having a design patent can force the opposing side to settle quickly. Usually, a preliminary injunction can be issued, putting the infringer out of business until a trial is held. This often leads to a quick settlement. But there are disadvantages to design patents as well. Despite their disadvantages, design patents are much easier to enforce.
In order to establish infringement of a design patent, the owner must show that a normal observer would confuse the accused device with the patented design. Ordinary observers are typically the same person who buys the accused infringer’s product. The sophisticated buyer is much less likely to be misled by superficial similarities between two products. This is why design patents are easier to enforce. And if a copycat copies a design, the patent owner can sue them for unfair competition.