Design patents can be valuable tools to protect the look and appearance of your products. These are the ornamental features that set your product apart from competitors, which can have an enormous impact on consumer buying decisions.
In this post, we will look at some more specific examples of what you can protect with a design patent and how you can accomplish this.
Design vs. utility patents
Backing up, we should explain that there are generally two different patents businesses might be considering: design patents and utility patents. Design patents protect the look of a manufactured product; utility patents protect the functional aspects of it.
In some cases, these elements can overlap. However, talking to an attorney about which patent to pursue can help you decide which options provide the right protection for your business.
It is also worth noting that design patents are usually less expensive than utility patents.
Design patent examples
When you are thinking about your company’s products and whether you might want to submit a design patent application, consider some of the common examples of design patents.
Some ornamental features businesses often protect with a patent include:
- The shape of a product
- The texture of a product
- Decorative elements on jewelry or accessories
It is important to note that a design for which you are seeking a patent should be visible. If it is hidden or concealed, a design patent may not be appropriate.
Seeking protection as soon as possible
Protecting something with a design patent can prevent infringement and give you rights of ownership. However, if you wait too long to seek protection, it can be too late to secure a design patent.
It can take several months to over a year to navigate the patent process, so starting it as soon as possible can allow you to maximize the value of this intellectual property.
The power of a design patent
In today’s market, aesthetics play a massive role in attracting consumers. When you protect the ornamental features and unique look of your product with IP tools like design patents, you make it easier for existing and potential buyers to identify your offerings quickly.