The Law Firm of
Louis Ventre, Jr.
Registered Patent Attorney
DESIGN PATENT DETAILS
A PATENT APPLICATION FOR THE APPEARANCE OF SOMETHING
(Reflects Government Fees effective 19-MAR-2013)Design Patent. A design patent is for a new and nonobvious ornamental design for an article of manufacture. This includes a design for an ornament, impression, print, or picture applied to or embodied in an article of manufacture. It further includes a design for the shape or configuration of an article of manufacture. However, a picture standing alone is not patentable. A design patent is not permitted for something that exists for purely aesthetic reasons, such as a work of art: An original painting, sculpture, or other work of fine art would be protectable by copyright, but would not be eligible for design patent protection.
Protection. A design patent protects only the appearance of an article, and not its structural or functional features.
DESIGN PATENT APPLICATION REVIEWProceedings. The proceedings relating to granting of design patents are basically the same as those relating to utility patents.
Drawings. The value of a design patent is largely dependent upon the skillful preparation of the drawings. Drawings are normally required to be submitted in black ink on white paper. Photographs are acceptable only in applications in which the invention is not capable of being illustrated in an ink drawing or where the invention is shown more clearly in a photograph. Color photographs or drawings are also not permitted unless there is a good reason, a petition and additional fee is filed and the petition is granted. When it is urgent to get a filing date, color photographs/drawings can be submitted, but these will be considered by the Patent Office to be informal drawings and will have to be replaced by amendment to the application.
DESIGN PATENT APPLICATION COSTSCosts. A small entity should expect a design patent application to cost about $1,500 through filing. The $1,500 includes attorney fees of $1,120 estimated filing costs for a small entity of $380 ($190 for a micro-entity and $760 for a large entity).
United States Patent and Trademark patent issuance fees for a design patent add about $760, including $510 governement fees and $250 attorney fee) for a small entity ($255 government fee for a micro-entity and $1,020 government fee for a large entity). There is no publication fee for a design patent. Also, no fees are necessary to maintain a design patent in force. United States Patent and Trademark Office filing charges may vary.
(According to the American International Property Law Association 2011
Economic Survey, the typical attorney fees in 2010 for preparation of a
design patent application are $1,500.)
Typical small entity costs through patent issuance are about $2,500 and for a large entity about $3,500.
DESIGN PATENT LIFETIMEPatent Lifetime. A design patent has a term of 14 years from grant. Effective for patents issued on or after 19-DEC-2013, the design patent term will be 15 years. This increase in patent term is the result of changes made by the Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act of 2012, discussed below.
DESIGN PATENT APPLICATION UNIQUE ASPECTSPatent Application Structure. The specification of a design application is short and ordinarily follows a set form. Only one claim is permitted, following a set form. The drawing of the design patent conforms to the same rules as other drawings, but no reference characters are allowed and the drawing should clearly depict the appearance, since the drawing defines the scope of patent protection.
PCT - Patent Cooperation Treaty? No, not until 19-DEC-2013 when the Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act of 2012 (Pub. Law 112-211) becomes effective. This law implements the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs (Hague Treaty) and the Patent Law Treaty. (Both treaties were ratified by the Senate on 07-DEC-2007.) Prior to 19-DEC-2013, International design patent applications may not be filed under the treaties. The implementation law to be effective 19-DEC-2013, allows any person who is a U.S. national, or resident, or company with an industrial or commercial establishment in the United States, to file an international design application for international registration with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) (thereby enabling U.S. applicants to file a single application with USPTO instead of separate applications in multiple countries).
Provisional Applications? No. One may not file a provisional design patent application.
Design Applications Published? No. Design applications are not subject to application publication after 18 months as are utility applications.
PROCEEDING TO A DESIGN PATENT APPLICATIONHow to Proceed. Telephone (703-242-1247) or email Louis Ventre, Jr. with a short description of the design you want in your application. If the Law Firm has no conflicts and agrees to represent you, you will be sent a retainer agreement with additional instructions on what information is needed. As with utility patents, a preliminary search of U.S. patents and U.S. applications will be done to make a judgment on patentability. After you receive the preliminary patentability determination, if you then decide not to submit an application, your retainer will be refunded less any cost the Law Firm had to pay the charge card company to process your credit card payment (if any) of the retainer.
INFRINGEMENT OF A DESIGN PATENTDesign Patent Infringement. To have infringement of a design patent:
MORE INFORMATION ON PATENT APPLICATIONSMore Answers on Patents. A vessel hull design may also be registered under a copyright law as explained on the Law Firm's copyright page. See the FAQ page for more questions answered on patents, the plant patent page for information on plant patents, and the Utility Patent Details page for general patenting details.
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© 2004 Louis Ventre, Jr.
This file last modified 05/01/13.