Sophisticated Solutions For Modern Legal Challenges

How To Prepare For a Design Patent Application

On Behalf of | Dec 28, 2023 | Patent Law

The most important part of preparing a design patent application is making the drawings of the design. Design patents protect the ornamentation of a product. The illustrations in a design patent application tell a story, whereas drawings in a utility patent show the design of the product that should be protected. In other words, the drawings in a design patent application should demonstrate the look that the patent is protecting.

If you are interested in applying for a design patent, hiring a skilled patent attorney is essential. AtAU LLC, our experienced Chicago patent attorneys have the experience and knowledge to help our clients prepare stellar design patent applications. If you are interested in filing a design patent process, we can help. Contact our Chicago patent law firm today to discover how our experienced design patent attorneys can help you file your design patent.

Ensure That You Have the Proper Subject Matter for a Design Patent

A design patent protects the way a product looks. The United States Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) requires that a product have a unique or distinctive shape or appearance that is not dictated by its function. For a design to be patentable, it must be original. Designs that stimulate naturally occurring or well-known designs are not original enough to qualify for a design patent. Finally, subject matter that is offensive to nationality, ethnic group, sex, religion, or race will not qualify for a design patent.

Ensure That The Design Patent Includes Necessary Application Elements

The USPTO requires design patent applications to have the following elements:

  • A preamble that states the applicant’s name, the title of the design, and a brief description of the intended use and nature of the article that the design patent will embody.
  • Cross-references to applications that are related to your application
  • A statement regarding any federally sponsored development or research
  • A feature description
  • A single claim
  • Photographs or drawings
  • An executed declaration or oath
  • The filing, examination, and search fees

Focus Your Drawings on the Unique Portion of Your Design

When submitting a design patent application, drawings should focus on the unique aspects of your design. If the overall product design is unique, then the drawings should showcase the overall design of the product. Prepare the pictures for your design patent application at the end of the product development cycle.

If your design changes at any point before your product launch, it is essential to ensure that you create new drawings that showcase the final design before applying. If the USPTO declines the design patent, you may need to re-design the product and recreate molds or change your manufacturing process. Thus, waiting until you are sure you have finished the design process, and you know that the design is unique can be beneficial.

Use Unique Drawings When Filing Utility and Design Patent Applications Together

If you plan on filing a design patent application and a utility patent for the same product, it is wise to submit different drawings for each application in many cases. While using the same drawings for both applications can save money, using the same drawings may increase the likelihood of USPTO denial of one or both applications.

Drawings that focus on functional features cannot showcase the unique design of a process. Similarly, design drawings cannot show the utilitarian or functional aspects of the product. Using utility drawings in a design patent application could seem like an admission that the design aspect of the product is not unique. Design patents cannot protect functional features.

Complete a Design Patent Search

When filing a design patent application, it is wise to search. The more thorough the design patent search, the higher the chance you will discover that your design is not unique. If you find out that a design patent exists and is already patented, your potential design patent is not unique. The USPTO will only issue design patents when a design is new, original, and ornamental. Design patents last for 14 years from the patent filing date.

Anyone can conduct a design patent search in the nearest USPTO library. You can also use Google Patent Search as well as the USPTO website. Paid patent services also exist. Searching for a design patent is not as easy as many may think. When it comes to design patents, the most descriptive parts of the patent are the drawings. It is difficult to enter the right keywords when conducting a design patent search.

The most thorough and accurate way to conduct a design patent search is to search through relevant images. If you are concerned that your product already has a design patent and is therefore not original, hiring a design patent attorney could benefit you. AtAU LLC, our skilled Chicago design patent attorneys have the experience and skill needed to conduct thorough design patent image searches. When you are attempting to file a design patent, it is worth the time and expense to hire professionals to conduct a search.

Respond Quickly to Your Patent Examiner

After the USPTO receives your design patent application, they will send you a notice that states your filing date. If the patent examiner assigned to your application allows your application, he or she will give you instructions for completing the application process. When you contact your designated patent examiner, be sure to have your filing date, the application number, group art number, and invention title ready. If the examiner requests additional information, be sure to respond quickly, accurately, and thoroughly, so you do not slow the process down.

We can Help With Your Design Patent Application

Filing for a design patent can be time-consuming and frustrating. The skilled patent attorneys atAU LLC have helped many clients file successful design patents. Contact our Chicago patent law firm today to schedule your initial consultation.