Colorado Patent Attorney Discusses Design Patents – Part 2 of 3

Watch Video Interview at This Link: Colorado Patent Attorney Discusses Design Patents

Interviewer: And how long is a design patent valid?

Patent Attorney: A design patent is valid for 14 years from the date of issue. This is different than utility patents, which are valid 20 years from date of filing. Note, that I said “date of filing” for the utility patent – and not “date of issue” as for the design patent.

Interviewer: Good point. I see that the article says “design patents are often a forgotten form of intellectual property despite the fact that they have been available to inventors and designers for over 150 years.” Why are these so often overlooked?

Patent Attorney: Design patents offer different protection than utility patents. Often, design patents are seen as offering less protection than utility patents. But the key here is “different,” not necessarily less protection.

Interviewer: What do you mean by different protection?

Patent Attorney: It’s important to understand, that design patents only protect the ornamental appearance exactly as pictured and nothing more (perhaps trivial variations). As such, design patents are often said to offer less protection than a utility patent.

Interviewer: But you said that design patents offer “different” protection – not necessarily “less” protection.

Patent Attorney: That’s right, the article makes a good point that design patents can be very valuable. The article points out as good examples, Apple’s iPhone graphics and the original Coca-Cola bottle. The article also points out that design patents are a cost-effective way to protect intellectual property. I would add that design patent applications are often examined much faster than utility patent applications, and thus may issue as enforceable patents long before a utility patent issues.

For part 3 of 3, follow this link: Colorado Patent Attorney Discusses Design Patents – Part 3 of 3