Design patents can be filed for any new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) defines an article of manufacture as "anything that can be made from raw materials and formed or assembled into a finished product." This includes all manufactured products, from automobiles to toys to clothing to computer software.
Design patents are a type of intellectual property that protect the unique visual design of an object. Design patents are distinct from utility patents, which protect the functional aspects of an invention. Design patents are also distinct from trademarks, which protect branding and logos.
The USPTO reports that design patents are filed at a rate of about 4,000 per year. A design patent is typically granted for a 14-year term.
Design patents can provide a powerful incentive for companies to invest in new and innovative designs. In the United States, design patents are governed by the laws of the Patent Act of 1952.
If you're considering filing a design patent application, it's important to know that the application must include a full description of the design, as well as at least one drawing of the design. This is to ensure that the USPTO has a clear understanding of the invention, and can properly evaluate whether the design is new and original.
While the drawing requirement may seem daunting, it doesn't have to be complicated. In fact, the USPTO provides a set of Drawing Guidelines that can help you prepare your drawing. Once you have your drawing ready, you can include it as part of your design patent application.
If you have any questions about the design patent application process, or need help getting started, consider reaching out to a patent attorney or agent. They can help you navigate the process and ensure that your application is in compliance with all the necessary requirements.
Assuming you would like a blog titled "A design patent is valid for 14 years from the date it is granted":
A design patent is a patent granted on the ornamental design of a functional item. Design patents are a type of industrial design right. Ornamental designs of jewelry, furniture, beverage containers (i.e., coffee pots, tea services, and flatware), and computer icons are examples of objects that can be covered by design patents.
Design patents are granted for 14 years from the date they are granted. After the 14-year term expires, the design is no longer protected and anyone can make, use, or sell the design without infringing on the former design patent.