IP Essentials: Q&A Series

Q What types of ornamental features are protectable by a design patent? A Design patents can be used to protect consumer-facing ornamental features of various items, such as consumer products, sporting goods, apparel, medical devices, automobiles and replacement parts, architecture, to name just a few. Two-dimensional designs, such as graphical user interfaces (both static and dynamic), game boards, and icons, are also protectible with design patents. Q What are the requirements for patentability for design patents? A To obtain design patent protection, a design must be novel, non-obvious and ornamental. In the United States a design patent application can be filed up to twelve months after the first disclosure of the design, but some other jurisdictions around the world are not as lenient. Q Can more than one embodiment of a design be included in a single application? A Yes. However, a patent examiner is likely to limit the number of designs that are examined. In such instances, the applicant should be prepared to file divisional applications to the remaining designs.

Design patents protect the ornamental aspects of products such as medical devices, board games, graphical user interfaces, vehicles, consumer products, and other things. DESIGN PATENTS



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