DESIGN PATENT APPLICATIONS

Design patent applications protect the ornamentality of inventions, i.e., the way the invention looks.  The design patent however, cannot protect any utilitarian functions of the invention.  Design patents can be particularly useful to protect inventions such as furniture, tools, clothing, or any product in which the look of the invention is important.  In some cases, a design and utility patent may be pursued for the same invention. The cost of a design patent with our firm is much less than a utility patent, starting at approximately $900.

Term

Design patents have a term of 14 years from the date of issuance.

Test for Design Patent Infringement

In the 2008 Federal Circuit opinion of Egyptian Goddess, Inc. v. Swisa, Inc., the court established a new standard for infringement.  The Federal Circuit held that the infringing product must merely appear "substantially the same" as the design patent from the point of view of an "ordinary observer."