Are you considering creating or designing a sign? Patenting it can protect your intellectual property and stop others from selling or using your product without authorization.

You may choose to license your patent to companies so they can incorporate it into their products. Be wary of brokers and submission companies who attempt to take money from you without selling your product.

A sign patent is a patent that covers a novel and unique design or function for a sign or signage system. A patent covering a signage system, for example, might be granted to cover an inventive method of advertising or information display. For instance, a digital display system uses special software to display customized content depending on the location or time of day. A patent covering a sign design could cover a particular shape, color or material used to give it a distinctive and easily identifiable appearance.

Signs and signage systems must satisfy the criteria for patentability. These include novelty, usefulness, and non-obviousness. Signs and signage systems must be unique and not similar to any other designs. They also must not be obvious modifications of existing designs.

Not all designers or manufacturers will need a patent for signage. It can be complicated and costly. A patent protects only the claims of the invention listed in the patent application. This means that others can create signs and signage systems similar to the patent.

Image credit: Pixabay


In order to patent an invention, several criteria must be fulfilled. These include novelty, inventive step, non-obviousness and industrial application.

Novelty is the primary requirement for patentability, meaning your invention must be completely new and unpublished. Without this element, other sources such as a patent or publication will likely deem your creation unpatentable.

Inventive steps are critical, and they require you to explain how your invention functions and could be made. For instance, if you want to patent an invention utilizing nanotechnology, you must explain how the particles are created and interact with each other.

Utility is the second requirement, and it means your invention must provide something useful. Determining what constitutes useful can be challenging since each inventor’s definition differs.

The Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) have developed guidelines to determine whether your invention meets the utility requirement. They define utility as having “credible, specific and substantial” value to someone of ordinary skill in the relevant technology field.

It is essential to ensure the utility of an invention is specific, not a general one that applies across many different inventions. If you can’t seem to meet any of these requirements, it may be time for another method of protecting your idea. A design patent could provide additional protection by safeguarding only the appearance of your product.

In addition to these three requirements, other factors can influence whether a patent is valid or invalid. These include whether it was previously used or on sale in the United States, whether it has been reissued or reexamined, and whether maintenance fees have been paid to the USPTO.

To check these and other factors, you can consult the United States Patent and Trademark Office website. Alternatively, you can search the European Patent Office’s espacenet system or Google Patents to look up a patent.

Filing a patent application

A patent is a legal document that grants you the exclusive right to create and utilize your invention. Additionally, it gives you the power to prevent others from copying, using or selling your creation without your authorization.

Filing a patent application necessitates having an innovative product or process. You must then be prepared to pay any necessary fees required by the patent office; costs can vary between countries and depend on the type and complexity of your invention.

Once a patent application has been filed with the required fee, it will be sent to an examiner for examination. This involves verifying that all formalities required by the patent office have been fulfilled, checking that drawing disclosures are complete, and comparing claimed subject matter against “prior art,” which includes both issued patents as well as published materials.

The examiner will also take into account the claims in your application and whether they are sufficiently specific and clear so that anyone trained in the relevant field can duplicate the invention. If so, your patent application will likely be granted.

Once a patent is granted, you can enforce it through court actions against infringers. This is an invaluable advantage of owning a patent as it safeguards your intellectual property rights for an extended period and permits suing for damages in court.

Obtaining a patent is an extensive and complex process, so it’s best to enlist the help of a patent attorney for guidance. However, there are some steps you can take in advance to prepare yourself and avoid any potential issues along the way.

First and foremost, be truthful with your patent attorney during the interview process. Share all relevant details about your invention so they can craft an exhaustive patent application on behalf of you.

Next, it is wise to thoroughly prepare your invention and jot down all of the key points for inclusion in your patent application. Doing this will save your patent attorney time and ensure they craft the most accurate patent application possible.

Filing a design patent application

Design patent applications are an excellent way to safeguard the aesthetic qualities of your invention. These applications should usually be filed when an article has a distinctive exterior appearance and competitors may attempt to copy it.

To be successful, you must have an intimate knowledge of the subject matter you wish to protect and how it differs from existing designs. A design patent attorney can guide you in crafting an application that best safeguards your invention.

Design patent applications must include a comprehensive description of the invention, an abstract or preamble, and at least seven illustrations depicting its features. You should also provide a 3-D view and depict each surface with shading to show contours.

In addition to the drawings, you must submit a patent search. A patent search can help determine whether an existing design has been patent. Furthermore, discussing your research in your application and including any cross references or explanations you’ve discovered are beneficial.

Finally, you must submit a design drawing or black and white photograph for each claim in your application. This visual disclosure must meet both 35 U.S.C. 112 as well as 37 CFR 1.84’s rules regarding patent drawings.

You must submit a timely reply to any Office action taken against your design patent application. This must clearly and specifically point out any supposed errors in the Office action, as well as address each objection or rejection that was made.

It is essential that you abide by all of the above rules when submitting your design drawings and photographs, or else your application could be rejected or deemed invalid. Without doing this, you won’t have any legal support in court to defend your design and prevent others from using it.

Another essential point to keep in mind is the distinction between design patents and utility patents. While a design patent protects the visual appearance of an article of manufacture, a utility patent safeguards its functional capabilities. If you need both aesthetics and functionality for your invention, then filing both should be considered.


Signage design patent by LG Electronics Inc – USD714389S1

Image credit: Google Patents

Enforcing a patent

A patent is an intellectual property right that grants you the exclusive right to prevent others from making, using or selling your invention for a specified period. This can protect both your business and ideas, so it’s essential to understand the intricacies of patent law if you want to ensure you receive the best protection possible.

The initial step in enforcing your patent is to determine if it has been infringed. This can be a complex process that typically involves fact gathering, pre-trial preparation and the assistance of an experienced patent attorney.

When you have an idea that deserves protection, the process of filing for a patent and then enforcing it can seem overwhelming. Fortunately, most patent owners manage to settle disputes amicably without resorting to courtroom battles.

One common method for enforcing a patent is sending out a cease-and-desist letter, which can be an effective tool in stopping bad-faith demands from potential licensees. While this is an important first step, it doesn’t provide an immediate fix for the issue of infringement.

Another option is filing a lawsuit in federal court. Although this process can be lengthy and expensive, it may be the only way for patent owners to receive compensation for their efforts.

To enforce a patent, you must file an infringement claim with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). As this can be an involved and costly process, it’s wise to enlist the help of a legal expert for assistance.

You can assign your patent, which is another way to safeguard your rights. This requires a written agreement signed by all parties involved. If you’re uncertain how to go about this, download a patent assignment form or consult an intellectual property attorney for assistance.

A patent assignment document should include the following elements: identify the underlying patent by title and number, along with a full and accurate description. You should also clearly identify the assignor and assignee using legal names if possible, and make sure the agreement is filed with the USPTO within three months after signing, paying any current fees due.