Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Design Patents

Who says Design Patents ar no good? I say, Design patents don’t get the respect they deserve. Many folks frown on filing for rights to protect only an “ornamentation”. I argue they’re wrong and missing the boat. Design patents offer a lot:
  • They can imply your competent product pursuit.
  • They can imply value to your idea.
  • They allow your marking of “Reg. U.S. Pat”.
  • They can imply legal consequence to violators.
Design patents are easier to get than the Utility patent. You only submit a defining drawing, or representation along with the affordable up-front fee to the United States Patent Office. With proper pre-search, a Design Patent application is highly likely to issue. It has these favorable features:
  • $230 total for filing, search and examination.
  • Likely issue fee of $430.
  • The Design Patent will last 14 years.
  • No maintenance fees (Unlike the Utility Paten).
  • Covers “appearance” or “Ornamentation” (not “function”)
The “look” of you product can be important – worth protecting. Believe me, your attorney will love every intellectual property he can brag about while structuring your license agreement. Cheaper than a Utility Patent, the Design Patent can be a great investment.
Sometimes it’s hard to defeat prior art while seeking a Utility patent. Other times, an examiner might argue your claims as “obvious”. Both cases may result in denial of a Utility Patent. Even so, you can still file for a Design Patent. I’ve done it. Maybe you should too. You’ll hear why in the future Inventor Videos.

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