The U.S. Patent Office grants various types of patents. Utility patents protect the way that an item works and is used, while design patents cover any items design and the way that item looks.
Hartman Global Intellectual Property Law works to file design patents around the world with clients from across Northwest Indiana and Domenica Hartman spoke about some examples of the specific items for which design patents are routinely utilized.
“Design patents are going to cover something that’s useful such as a lamp or a car but has some unique design to it,” Hartman said. “We’re not looking so much at the utility, which we assume there is, and we’re not looking to say is the utility new or non-obvious. Rather, we’re looking at the design and saying, ‘hey, that’s a unique design,’ and we want that design to be protected.”
Where design patents come into play, for example, is when a company like Chevrolet designs a new body for their Corvette.
“Obviously, cars are known, transmissions are known and tires are known but, for example, now they have this new aerodynamic feature in the design of the car,” said Hartman. “You see it a lot in auto body design and you also see it a lot in the design of things like water bottles or Coke bottles. Things like where do you place the finger grips are what we’re looking at in terms of design patents.”
Design presents itself through appearance and patenting your design takes into consideration the shape and configuration of an item as well as the ornamentation used in the creation of that item.
When walking through a store you’ll notice things like lamps or household goods. What a lamp is used for doesn’t change a great deal from one type to the next but what does change are things like the design, style and color of each lamp. Your design is your own and this is where design patents come into play.
Each unique style and difference from one item on the shelf to the next is protected and covered using design patents.
“Design patents don’t have quite the length of protection as utility patents,” Hartman noted. “Design patents are good for 15 years and utility patents are good for 20 years from the date of filing.”
Hartman Global has a proven track record of success in the patent field which is reflected in the long list of patents issued for their clients in a wide variety of technical fields and industries, including aerospace, medical, electronic, computer, automotive, and manufacturing.
To find out more about what Hartman Global IP Law can do to protect your unique designs, check out their website at: http://www.hartmanglobal-ip.com/