Design registration USA is a design patent that is legally correct, which can be found in the United States Patent Act. This act protects the "ornamental design" for an "article of manufacture," which gives you the right to sell and manufacture a design.

Design Patent Protection in the United States

A patent of U.S. design can last for up to 14 years, for now. This patent is unable to be renewed, there are also no filings or fees of maintenance that need to be done to get all 14 years of protection. 15 years will be the new length for patents of design that were freshly given when the U.S. put into effect the Hague System, either in 2013 or 2014.

Priority can be claimed via the RCD (Registered Community Design), only if the application for the U.S. design patent is filed in less than six months of the date proclaimed by the RCD. The necessity to file a U.S. patent for design is different, so make sure to leave plenty of time to get the application for the design patent ready.

An application for a U.S. design patent needs to be filed six months after the Registered Community Design so that priority can be claimed on it. This varies from the 12-month priority deadline for applications for utility patents that are within the Paris Convention, or the Patent Cooperation Treaty's lengthened dates of priority.

A patent of U.S. design can only include one design, which is not like the RCD or European Registered Community Design. From time to time, small varieties of one design can be a part of the application for a U.S. patent of design. This usually includes talking and negotiating with the examiner of patents. The varieties might need to be taken off so the patent of design can be given out, since one design needs coverage by one patent of design.

Patents of Design

Patents of design within the U.S.:

  • Need to be filed in the inventor's name, which is the actual person or people who made up the design. This is unusual in a number of countries.
  • A document of assignment must be filed with the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office only if the inventor is a worker or transferred or licensed that design to a particular company.
  • A person or persons must be listed as the inventor and not the company when the application for patent design is filled out.

The inventor or inventors who created the design can file the application for patent design. An application for a design's patent can be filed by any inventor. This individual does not have to live in the United States or have an office or address in the United States.

The inventor can choose to work with a patent attorney who is registered in the United States that can represent inventors at the United States Trademark and Patent Office (USPTO). U.S. lawyers and foreign lawyers cannot communicate with the USPTO if they are not registered as patent attorneys. They can help by giving directions out to an attorney from the U.S. who is an authorized patent attorney.

Patent Design Fees

The USPTO charges fees from the government that have kept getting higher within the past few years. At the present time, it costs $530 to file a design patent with the government. The government cost can be cut down to half of that if you claim to be a "small entity" by the U.S. Patent Act.

A small entity means that you have under 300 employees working for you and you have no design or license to a company with over 500 employees. The fees to get help from a draftsman and attorney are around $1,500 - $3,000, depending on how complex the application is.

A patent for design is looked over by an examiner of patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Designs must be similar to utility patent claims, in that they are unusual and not obvious. There are fewer refusals or Office actions for design patents. An Office action incurs its own fees, but a number of patents for design are filed and given out without much hardship.

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