There are several key requirements for filing design patent applications. Design patents legally protect a product’s visual qualities – including unique shape, configuration, or surface decoration. To qualify as the original “article of manufacture”, designs must be novel, original, and ornamental. USPTO officers examine unique ornamental characteristics to evaluate design patent applications. For a successful USPTO approval, these ornamental features must resolve a practical function too. Additionally, independent designs must be filed as separate applications. As a novel inventor, you should meet the necessary filing requirements to increase the odds for USPTO approval. Experienced IP protection attorneys can help navigate the US Code 35 subsection 171 to file design patents for novel inventions. Once protected, your competitors cannot copy, produce, or distribute your design in the US. Read on to learn about the design patent requirements for USPTO application filing.
Novelty And Non-Obviousness
As the first design patent requirements, inventions must be novel and non-obvious. To qualify for novelty, claimed designs need to be new and non-identical from existing prior art. Typically, USPTO officers apply the “average observer test” to evaluate the novelty of a design. This requires your design to be unique in front of an ordinary observer. Additionally, your invention must also meet the non-obvious characteristics of US patent law. In general, new designs are considered non-obvious when they provide a significant improvement over existing prior art. Your USPTO design patent attorney can help perform a prior art search to evaluate the novelty and non-obviousness of your design. Plus, the patent agent may also help establish the originality of your design. Indeed, novelty and non-obviousness are two crucial design patent requirements for USPTO application filing.
Unique Ornamental Appearance
Unique ornamental appearance is another critical design patent application requirement for successful USPTO filing. Often, patent examiners use different rules and criteria to evaluate the ornamental appearance of a claimed design. In general, ornamental characteristics of a design go beyond aesthetical appearance, attractiveness, and artistic conception. Instead, USPTO evaluates ornamentality in relation to the product’s functionality. Typically, the ornamental appearance should not depend on the functional and mechanical requirements of your article of manufacture. Your patent attorney may help evaluate the distinctive ornamental features – different from structural functions. Definitely, a unique ornamental appearance is required to file a design application with USPTO.
Explanatory Drawings And Photographs
Explanatory drawings and photographs are also required to file design patent applications with the USPTO. Relevant drawings and photographs disclose the visual characteristics of claimed designs. As per official guidelines, you must provide multiple views of your designs to highlight different visual angles. All sketches should be drawn in black ink on clear white paper. Similarly, the associated photographs are required to be black-and-white as well. To provide clear information, each drawing should include the respective figure number. If required, you may also work with your attorney to submit colored drawings and photographs. In such events, design patent attorneys file a petition to highlight the significance of colored drawings or photographs. Plus, the attorney can also help hire an expert to draw clear illustrations of your design. Definitely, prepare explanatory drawings and photographs for seamless USPTo application filing.
Formal Subject Matter Disclaimers
Formal subject matter disclaimers are essential design patent requirements for seamless USPTO filing. These disclaimers describe design aspects requiring patent protection. While preparing initial drawings, use broken lines to highlight features that are different from the claimed subject matter. These highlighted features do not infringe on competitor’s existing patent applications. Instead, clearly highlighting the claimed subject matter broadens the design patent protection scope. Work with an experienced design patent attorney in California attorney to evaluate clear patentable subject matters. Based on the prior art search results, your attorney can help prepare additional drawings to highlight subject matters. Indeed, formal subject matter disclaimers are required to file USPTO design patent applications.
Written Design Descriptions
Finally, a detailed written description is another important design patent requirement for application filing. Your patent application should include a clear title, applicant name, and a relevant claim. You may also include a preamble statement to establish yourself as the original inventor. In addition, supportive brief descriptions are also required to describe each drawing and photograph. These figure descriptions help USPTO examiners understand the patentable aspects of your design. Inadequate figure descriptions may even lead to application refusal. If required, you should also include cross-references to patent applications with similar ornamental features. Indeed, written design descriptions are required to file design patent applications.
There are several key requirements for filing design patent applications with the USPTO. Patent designs need to be new and non-identical from existing prior art. Often, patent examiners use different rules and criteria to evaluate the ornamental appearance of a claimed design. Work with your intellectual property attorney in Florida to prepare drawings that highlight different visual angles of the design. The drawing should show dashes or broken lines to showcase features separate from the claimed subject matter. Finally, your patent application must include a clear title, applicant name, and a relevant claim. Follow the points above to learn about the requirements for filing design patent applications with the USPTO.