Design Patent: How to Get Started in Los Angeles
Are you based in Los Angeles and looking to obtain a design patent3 min read
Are you based in Los Angeles and looking to obtain a design patent? At first glance, it can be intimidating. But, with an experienced legal team, the process can be simple and straightforward. Understanding the proper steps and provisions required to get a design patent approved can ensure a successful outcome. UpCounsel provides experienced lawyers with an average of 14 years of experience from small businesses to the Fortune 1000. With UpCounsel, you have access to high-quality attorneys who can guide you through the process. Here, we'll outline the steps you should consider to get started with a design patent in Los Angeles.
What is a Design Patent?
A design patent protects the visual ornamental features of a utilitarian object. These features can include the shape of the item, pattern, or a combination of both. This type of protection lasts for fourteen years. It is an exclusive right that prevents others from using, manufacturing, selling, or importing products with the similar ornamental features as the original design without a patent owner's permission.
To obtain a design patent, an application must be filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. During the application process the patent office will review the design drawings to determine if they are similar to prior art. If the design is different, the initial application evaluation usually takes approximately three to five months.
Gather Important Information
Before applying for a design patent, the applicant needs to obtain essential information about the design. A thorough understanding of the material, specifications, appearance, and functions of the product is required.
The applicant needs to select an attorney beforehand because the entire application process will be handled by them. During the application process, the lawyer needs to keep the applicant informed on the progress of their project. They will also be providing updates regarding the patent examiner, patent office proceedings, and any objections raised by the trademark office.
Choose an Aesthetic Design
For the patent application to be successful, the design must be ornamental and meet certain requirements. That means the design has to be distinctive and appealing to be recognized as a source-identifying feature. Keep in mind that the design must be novel. Meaning, the design cannot be similar to those that were previously used. Moreover, there must be a significant difference from all prior existing technologies in order for it to be considered eligible for patent protection.
Prepare and Submit The Documents
After the design has been approved, the lawyer needs to prepare the documents for the application. These documents include drawings or photographs of the design, a detailed description of the features, and a claim outlining the invention’s variability.
Once the application is completed, the applicant will need to file it with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Depending on the length of the process, a trial and appeal period may follow the filing. During this stage, more documents may be required to be submitted. After this step, the patent office will examine the documents and approve it or reject it if the invention does not meet their requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is it possible to obtain a design patent in the same country where the invention is intended to be used?
A: Generally, Yes. Depending on the country, some jurisdictions allow applicants to obtain a design patent in the same country. This can be beneficial if the invention requires frequent visits or maintenance in that particular country.
Q: How long does a design patent last?
A: A design patent generally gives its owner exclusive rights to the ornamental features of a utilitarian object for fourteen years in the U.S.
Q: Is it necessary to apply for a design patent in more than one country?
A: It is recommended to apply for a design patent in every country where the product will be sold to obtain full protection. Depending on the jurisdiction, some countries may offer protection for your design even if the patent is not registered in that country.