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Design Patent - Requirements and Eligibility!

Design patents do not cover the functionality of a product. A design patent is usually easier to get and less expensive than a utility patent. Though design patents provide less protection than utility patents, they may be valuable if you wish to prevent others from selling knockoffs and copycats that appear very similar to your protected product.
Before filing a design patent application, every inventor should conduct a design patent search. Let's have a look at the 12 Different ways to do a design patent search to find a prior art.

Patents give legal protection to innovative, valuable, and non-obvious items or designs by prohibiting others from using, producing, or selling the invention for a set period of time after the patent is issued. A design patent, a utility patent, and a plant patent are the three basic types of patents issued in the United States. We'll talk about a design patent and how an inventor can get one to protect its creation.


A design patent is a type of legal protection given to an item's aesthetic design.


What is a Design and a Design Patent?

The visual ornamental characteristics embodied in or applied to a product of manufacture are referred to as design. The subject matter of a design patent application can relate to the configuration or shape of an object. The surface ornamentation is applied to an article or a combination of configuration and surface ornamentation. An ornamental surface design is inextricably linked to the article to which it is applied and cannot exist alone. It has to be a distinct pattern of surface ornamentation added to a manufactured item. Design patents cover ornamental designs in jewelry, furniture, beverage containers, and computer icons, among other things.


Design patents do not cover the functionality of a product. A design patent is usually easier to get and less expensive than a utility patent. Though design patents provide less protection than utility patents, they may be valuable if you wish to prevent others from selling knockoffs and copycats that appear very similar to your protected product.

George Bruce received the first design patent, U.S. Patent D1, in 1842. The design patent was for a new font.
In 1879, Auguste Bartholdi was awarded design patent U.S. Patent D11,023 for the Statue of Liberty. This patent covered the sale of small copies of the statue.

Apple Inc. owns various patents regarding the design of the iPhone smartphone line and its related products. Apple's original iPhone's first design patent was granted in 2008 (D558758).


The Coca-Cola bottle US Design patent number 48,160, granted to the Root Glass Company of Terre Haute, Ind. is one of the first examples of a beverage company differentiating itself by its packaging. The original patent is currently on display at the National Archives Museum in Washington, D.C.


What Kinds of Inventions Are Eligible for a Design Patent?

Any person who has invented any novel, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacturing is eligible for a design patent under the patent law.


Two factors must be true in general for your design to qualify for a design patent:

  • The design is an integral aspect of the product and cannot be separated from it. A label design on a wine bottle, for example, would not