A design patent protects an item’s unique ornamental design—how it looks. Design patents are generally less complicated than utility patents and can be easier and cheaper to get. If your invention has a unique design and unique functionality, you may be able to file both a design and a utility patent application.
For your design to qualify for a design patent, these two things must generally be true:
The design is a part of the item and can’t be separated from the item. For example, a label design on a wine bottle wouldn’t qualify for a design patent, but a unique design of the bottle itself might qualify.
If you want to patent an idea, it’s a good idea to understand how to get a patent first. LegalZoom simplifies the process of applying for a patent. The process begins with completing an online questionnaire and submitting sketches or drawings of your invention. A USPTO-registered patent professional will provide a patent consultation by phone and a technical illustrator will prepare the professional patent drawings according to USPTO requirements. Your patent agent will then prepare your design patent application and file your application with the USPTO electronically. The USPTO assigns a patent examiner to review your patent application and determine whether to grant a patent. While your application is awaiting approval, you can legally label your design “patent pending”. Get started with the design patent application process today. When you apply for a patent through LegalZoom, you’ll receive professional review and preparation by a USPTO-registered agent, technical patent illustrations drafted by a professional illustrator, and filing with the USPTO for an affordable price.