The intricacies of patent law can be very confusing, but they are an essential part of the legal framework for protecting intellectual property. Design patents play an especially prominent role, as these can cover the ornamental aspects of products. To gain the legal protection a design patent provides, the individual or entity seeking it must ensure adherence to rigorous standards and work with legal counsel who are familiar with the complexities of patent law, particularly the law in the specific states in which the product will be sold. With this in mind, it is important to understand how design patents function in the state of New York.

What Is a Design Patent?

At its most basic level, a design patent is a type of patent that an inventor can apply for to protect any platform of ornamentation, configuration, or both that are embodied in a physical product. In the case of design patents, the inventor is not claiming ownership of the idea of the product, but rather ownership of the unique aspects of their particular version of the idea. Unlike utility patents, which protect the idea, design patents can protect the form the idea takes, such as the shape of a new product on the market. This type of protection also covers the specimen of the model, and any variation thereof.

Requirements for Obtaining a Design Patent in New York

Acquiring a design patent in the state of New York requires fulfillment of the following criteria:

The design must be both unique and new. This can be determined by comparing it to existing designs, including ones not yet on the market and those that are existing. Designs must also only patent aspects that are both visible in use and not inherent in the product’s mechanical requirements.

The intended use of the design must be detailed in the application. While this requirement does not include a specific outline of how the product will be used, it does require that the design be associated with a product that performs a labor or utility task.

The application must include drawings illustrating the design as it would be used in the specified product.

The application must also include a separate sheet of paper containing a full description of the design patent, including any significant variations from the standard version. This is especially important for any inventor seeking a design patent on a combination product, that is, a product with multiple functions.

Points to Consider When Seeking a Design Patent in New York

There are several aspects of the patent process that an inventor should keep in mind when considering the acquisition of a design patent in New York. The first is a consideration of the design patent term. The maximum length of a design patent in the United States is 14 Years. If the application is submitted before May 13, 2015, the patent term will be 14 years. However, if the application is submitted after that date, the patent term will be reduced to 10 years.

In addition, it is important to keep an eye on the costs associated with the design patent process. A design patent application typically begins with a filing fee, followed by a search fee, preparation and prosecution fees, and, if the application is challenged, maintenance fees. The primary cost considerations are the filing fee and the search fee, as these are often the most expensive elements.

It is also critical that inventors consult experienced legal counsel and affiliated patent attorneys when applying for a design patent in the state of New York. While this can incur expense, it can also provide invaluable advice and assistance regarding both the complexities of the law and the patent process itself. Fortunately, companies like UpCounsel provide quality legal counsel, and their network of experienced legal professionals can be an invaluable resource in achieving patent protection goals.

Finally, inventors should remember to provide detailed supporting documentation along with the patent application. This should include an executive summary hindered with relevant financial data, a detailed overview of the patent that describes the design in detail, and other relevant financial documentation. Such comprehensive documentation may be key in determining whether the patent is approved.


Design patents can be essential in protecting unique variations on product designs. New York has its own standards for the acquisition of design patents, and anyone seeking such a patent should take care that they fully understand the requirements before filing an application. It can also be beneficial to consult experienced legal professionals who are knowledgeable regarding the specifics of New York patent law.


Design Patent,

Patent Law,

New York