Design Patent Applications
In the US, design patents protect the visual characteristics embodied in, or applied to, a product. Design patents protect a products appearance only; they do not protect the functionality of the product or the functionality of a product’s appearance. The visual characteristics of a product that may be protectable under design patent protection may consist of the configuration or shape of an article, the surface ornamentation applied to an article, or a combination of configuration and surface ornamentation. The design of an article must meet the requirements for patentability, which means that design patents may be granted to any person who has invented any new, original and ornamental design for an article of manufacture.
Some products may be best protected by design patent protection while others may fit better in the realms of trade dress or copyright. Also, it may be possible to protect some products using two or more of these approaches. We can help you sort through this at-times confusing array of protection options to figure out how best to protect the valuable aspects of your products.