Design Patents Attorney Michigan
Buckert Patent & Trademark Law Firm (BPTLF) works with businesses and entrepreneurs to protect the ornamental features of their inventions by obtaining design patents. Design patents are utilized to protect the ornamental external look of a product. Our firm has extensive knowledge of patent law and procedures and will work with you to obtain a solid design patent.
We Provide The Following Patent Services:
- Preparing the design patent application, including a written description, claims, and formal drawings
- Preparing the other required filing documents for the design patent application
- Filing the design patent application and the other required filing documents with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO)
- Responding to questions from the USPTO
- Responding to Office Actions from the USPTO
- Tracking deadlines and extension periods
- Keeping you informed regarding the status of your application
We have over a 90% patent approval success rate with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.
We were also ranked in the top 25 best-performing patent law firms out of 5,000 U.S. patent firms by the patent analytics firm, Patexia.
Our expertise and experience allow us to efficiently and skillfully obtain the design patent protections to which our clients are entitled. As a result, we give clients the peace of mind that competitors cannot copy their new product designs and take a portion of their market share.
What is a Design Patent?
A design patent is utilized to protect the ornamental exterior look of a product. For a relatively simple structure, it is often useful to protect it with a design patent. For example, design patents can protect the exterior look of clothing, consumer products, vehicle products, and software GUIs. A design patent includes drawings that illustrate the exterior of the product, and the scope of protection is determined by what is shown in the drawings.
What is the Difference Between a Design Patent and a Utility Patent?
A utility patent protects the useful structure and functionality of an invention so others will be legally restricted from duplicating it. In particular, a utility patent can protect the structure and functionality of structural, mechanical, electrical, electronic, software and chemical inventions.
In contrast, a design patent protects the ornamental exterior look of a product so others will be legally restricted from duplicating the ornamental look. However, it does not describe or protect the functionality or internal structure of a product.
How to Obtain a Design Patent
It is almost always a good idea to have an experienced patent attorney handle the design patent process from start to finish to greatly increase the probability of obtaining a design patent. Initially, a design patent application is prepared and filed with the USPTO. The drawings must have new or unique external physical characteristics not present in other designs/products.
At the USPTO, a patent examiner will examine the drawings in the design patent application, and will perform a patent search to find the closest paths. After performing the search, the examiner will make an initial determination whether the drawings have unique aesthetic features that are sufficient for issuing a design patent in view of the closest patents.
Sometimes, the patent examiner will issue an Office Action that initial rejects the design patent application, and the attorney must respond to the Office Action within a set time period arguing for the allowability of the illustrated invention.
At the USPTO, if the patent examiner wants to allow the design patent application to issue into a patent, they will issue a Notice of Allowance. Afterward, the attorney will submit the necessary documents and issue fee for the design patent application to be issued.
How Long Does a Design Patent Last?
A design patent issued after May 13th, 2015, will last a term of fifteen (15) years from the date it was granted. If the design patent was issued before this date, then it has a fourteen-year term from the date of grant. After the design patent expires, the design becomes public domain.
How Can a Patent Attorney Help?
The patent application process is complicated and confusing. A patent attorney can handle the process from start to finish and greatly increase the probability of obtaining a design patent. In contrast, if you try to wing it and file a design patent application that is inadvertently improper, the USPTO will not allow any new matter to be added to the application which can result in a patent not being issued.
How Our Firm Can Help You
We are experts at obtaining design patents and we have one of the highest patent allowance rates of U.S. law firms. If you need assistance, we can assist you through the entire patent process. For more information, call Buckert Law Firm for a free consultation.