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Design Patent to New Inventions Success

Design Patent

What is a design patent?

A design patent is legal protection of a new shape and appearance of something. It has to be something where shape and appearance matter. For example, it wouldn't be any good to file a designs patent on a motor that sits in a car, but if the motor sticks out of the hood in a special way, that would be perfect. The patent is granted by the United States government and gives you the right to sue people who copy your design. Recently patents on design have become stronger and stronger, even while other protection is getting weaker. Many companies, including car companies, medical product companies, and toy companies get designs patents.

Car Design - Patent Drawing

How do I get a design patent on my new design?

File an application with the United States Patent Office. There are thousands of pages of rules covering these applications, so get help. If you file it yourself you could save hundreds. If you screw it up yourself, you could cost yourself hundreds of thousands.

What is the patent cost for my design?

If you are working with a reasonable attorney, a patent application on your design should cost anywhere from $1,500 - $4,500 depending on the design and the attorney. The drawings should be excellent drawings that exactly show the shape and details of the new design. They should not show any designs that are just screen-printed/fabric patterns/etc. - the designs have to be shape oriented.

What about my old designs?

If your design is less than six months old, you can still protect it with a patent on a design in the United States, even if you can't protect is internationally. If your design is older than that, but you kept it secret, you might still be able to apply. If you have a design that is doing very well, you should strongly consider filing a patent application on your design. It is heartbreaking to find out that copycats are stealing your customers. It is even worse to find out you can't do anything about it.

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