A design patent protects the unique shape, look, and form of a product. The design patent does not focus on usefulness and instead focuses on the ornamental design of the invention. If the product has no unique or distinctive shape or appearance at the time it was created then it cannot obtain a design patent. A design patent allows the owner to exclude others from making, using, copying, importing a design substantially similar to the design claimed in the design patent. Design patents are granted for the term of 15 years from the date of issuance (14 years if issued before 12/19/2013) and are not subject to maintenance fees.
Like all patents, a design patent application should be filed with the assistance and guidance of a patent attorney because of its complexity. Not sure if your design is patentable? Start by asking a patent attorney on. We offer free 20 minute consultations!