Design Patent Lawyers for Orange County, Riverside County and Los Angeles County
At Grant’s Law Firm, our attorneys assist inventors and businesses with obtaining patent protection for the products they or their employees develop. Without a patent obtained by the inventor or owner, others can make, sell, use and import your invention, without permission, and avoid paying any compensation, royalties or license fees.
A design patent is a patent granted on the ornamental design of a functional item. Design patents are a type of industrial design. This type of patent is appropriate when the basic product already exists in the marketplace and is not being improved upon in function but only in style. Ornamental designs of jewelry, furniture, eyeglass frames, beverage containers and novel fonts, computer icons are examples of objects that are covered by design patents.
A US design patent covers the ornamental design for an object having practical utility. An object with a design that is substantially similar to the design claimed in a design patent cannot be made, used, copied or imported into the United States. The copy does not have to be exact for the patent to be infringed. It only has to be substantially similar.
Design patents cover the ornamental nonfunctional design of an item. Design patents can be invalidated if the design has practical utility (e.g. the shape of a gear). Design patents are valid for 14 years from the date of issue. There are no maintenance fees.
Many objects can be covered by both copyrights and design patents. The Statue of Liberty is one such example.
Design patents are only granted if the design is novel and not obvious for all items, even those of different utility than the patented object. An actual shield of a given shape, for example, can be cited as prior art against a design patent on a computer icon with a shield shape. The validity of design patents is not affected by whether or not the design is commercialized.
Contact a patent attorney at Grant’s Law Firm in Glendale, Riverside, Indian Wells or Irvine