A patent is an intellectual property right that provides inventors with exclusive rights to their invention for a specified period. It safeguards groundbreaking innovations that benefit society at large.

If they have an ornamental or unique appearance, cabinet knobs and handles may be protected by design patents.

Patents are granted to protect the ornamental aspect of an object rather than its functional aspects. A cabinet knob or handle that is unique and distinct from any other design can be granted a design patent. The knob or handle must be ornamental in nature and not serve any functional purpose.

Cabinet knobs and handles are examples of design features that could be eligible for a patent. These include the shape of the knobs or handles, the placement of decorative items, or the overall pattern of the surface texture.

Noting that cabinet knobs or handles require a design patent, it can be complicated and costly. It may not be practical or necessary for all manufacturers or designers. A design patent protects only the knob’s ornamental appearance, and not its functional aspects. The design patent may not be infringed by other manufacturers who might create identical knobs and handles with different functionalities.

Image credit: Pixabay


Patentability refers to the legal requirements required to grant a patent application. This will result in a valid, enforceable patent.

Three key criteria are required for patentability.

  1. Originality: The invention must not be disclosed in any prior art. This includes information made publicly available before the filing date for the patent application. This means that the invention cannot be used or known by others in the same field.
  2. Non-obviousness is a condition that the invention does not involve a modification or variation to something already known or used in this field. This means that the invention must be significant and inventive.
  3. Utility: The invention should have some practical or functional use and be useful. This means that the invention should be practical and can be applied in a tangible manner to achieve some result or benefit.

An invention that meets all three criteria may be eligible to receive a patent. Although obtaining a patent is a complicated and costly process, there are often additional legal and procedural requirements that must also be met. To ensure that you get a valid, enforceable patent, it is a good idea to consult a patent agent or attorney.

A patent search involves searching for patents and other prior art in order to determine whether an invention is novel and patentable. A patent search is an essential step in the patenting process. It can help patent attorneys and inventors assess whether an invention is patentable, identify potential patent infringement risk, and refine the scope and purpose of a patent application.

There are many ways to search for patents. You can search online patent databases such as the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Patent Full-Text and Image Database, or Google Patents to find relevant patents and other prior-art documents. You can search these databases by keywords, patent number and inventor name.

A professional patent searcher/patent attorney can also be hired to do a deeper search. Patent searchers and patent attorneys have the advantage of specialized training that allows them to identify prior art that is more difficult to find online.

It is important to look at not only published patent applications and academic and technical literature during a patent search. Although this can be time-consuming, it is an essential step in ensuring that a patent application remains strong and defendable.

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Design Patent

If you have created an original design for furniture, such as a cabinet knob or handle, patenting it can protect it from those who make copies and resell them without permission. This process is relatively quick and more affordable than utility patents, providing 14 years of protection against infringement.

Before filing a design patent, it is essential to do a search to guarantee your idea has not already been patent protected. You can do this by accessing either the USPTO database or free websites such as Google Patent Search for free.

The initial step in patenting your design is writing a patent application. This document outlines all elements of your invention and must include an explanation, references to any prior art found during research, as well as several drawings that depict how it looks.

Your patent application must include an oath or declaration. This statement proves that you are the owner of the invention and must be signed by a notary public.

Once your application is complete, it must be filed with the USPTO. The fee associated with this varies based on your patent stage and what type of patent you are filing.

Once an application is filed, it will undergo examination by a patent examiner. The examiner will review your application and assess its eligibility for a design patent. They may also offer comments or recommendations for revisions to your application.

If your application is rejected, you can re-submit it with any modifications the examiner suggests. Unfortunately, the process can be lengthy and frustrating. To guarantee that your design patent is granted by the USPTO, it’s essential that you follow their guidelines closely.

You may wish to consult a patent attorney for assistance with the patenting process. A qualified patent attorney will guarantee that your application is filed correctly and completely, providing you with full protection for your invention.

Utility Patent

Manufacturers or inventors, patents are essential for your business success. They provide protection from those wishing to copy your product or technology. A utility patent is one of the most common types of patents.

A utility patent covers any invention that is useful and novel in relation to a process, machine, manufacture or composition of matter. It may also cover improvements made to an existing idea.

A utility patent is more comprehensive than a design patent and covers not only how something functions but its aesthetic appearance as well. This makes it possible to protect many products, such as chemical compounds and furniture pieces alike.

The primary distinction between a utility and design patent is that a utility patent covers functional innovations in the technologies sector, while a design patent only protects an object’s aesthetic appeal. Therefore, if your manufacturing company has created an inventive design, you should consider filing for a design patent instead of a utility patent application.

Utility patents can be used to protect cabinet knobs and handles if they are unique and innovative in their functionalities. Utility patents are for new, useful inventions and innovations. This includes functional aspects of cabinet knobs or handles. A utility patent is only available to cabinet knobs and handles that are new and not already known. It must also have a practical or functional use that offers a benefit.

A utility patent might allow you to patent functional features such as a new attachment mechanism for the knob or handle to the cabinets, a new shape or design that makes it easier to grip, reduces fatigue, or an antimicrobial coating.

Noting that utility patents for cabinet knobs or handles can be complicated and costly, it is important to remember that this process can be expensive. A utility patent protects only the claims of the invention listed in the patent application. This means that others can create similar knobs and handles with different functionalities that are not infringing on the patent.

A patent lawyer can assist with all elements of a utility patent application, such as conducting patentability searches and crafting an extensive application. They provide guidance throughout the patent application process and identify any potential issues or weaknesses which could hinder acceptance by the USPTO.


System for intelligent door knob (handle) by August Home Inc- US9725927B1

Image credit: Google patents

“A door lock system includes a knob and an apparatus that controls transmission of displacement or rotational mechanical energy. A bolt is coupled to a door, an input rod and an output rod. At least one of an interior or exterior knob is coupled to the bolt and the apparatus that controls transmission of displacement or rotational mechanical energy. An energy source is coupled to the apparatus that controls transmission of displacement or rotational mechanical energy. The mobile device provides authorization to engage the apparatus that controls transmission of displacement or rotational mechanical energy and allows a door user to manually open the door.”