IP Essentials: Q&A Series


Q How many views of the design are required for each embodiment? A Many design patent applications are filed with what are commonly referred to as the seven standard views (front, rear, top, bottom, left, right, and perspective views) for each embodiment. However, in some instances, it is possible to include more or fewer views in the application, as long as they clearly show the appearance of the embodiment. Q How should I prepare the figures for a design patent application? A It is best to work with an experienced illustrator when preparing the figures for a design patent application. An illustrator can prepare formal line drawings based on prototypes, computer-aided design (CAD) files, photographs, or other images. Line drawings are most commonly used, but are not required in a design patent application. For example, a design patent application can be filed with photographs or shaded images rendered from a CAD file. This is not recommended, however, because the original filed drawings limit the scope of the patent. Q What amount of written description of the design is required? A Design patent applications include a single claim and are much shorter in length than utility applications. A design patent application generally includes a title, a very short description of the figures, and any additional description of the ornamental design to add clarity to the appearance in the drawings. A short statement may be included to describe lines that depict surface shading, color, texture, or patterns.

The title is important and may determine the scope of products that are covered by the design patent. Q How broadly can I claim the design? A In the U.S., design patents can claim a design in its entirety or a portion thereof. In addition, in line drawings, solid lines are used to represent the claimed portion of the design, and dashed lines (or broken lines) are used to represent unclaimed portions of the design. Q Is international protection available? A Design patent applications may be filed abroad and claim priority to an earlier filed design patent application if filed within six months of the U.S. filing date. An international design patent filing regime (the Hague Convention) allows for a single international application (a Hague application) to enter designated member countries.

What is the term of a design patent?


In the U.S., design patents have a term of fifteen years from the date of issue. There is no requirement to pay periodic maintenance fees during the fifteen-year term.




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