A Guide To Filing A Design Patent Application

Source: uspto.gov
Category: Design Patent Application Info

Definition of a Design
A design consists of the visual ornamental characteristics embodied in, or applied to, an article of manufacture. Since a design is manifested in appearance, the subject matter of a design patent application may relate to the configuration or shape of an article, to the surface ornamentation applied to an article, or to the combination of configuration and surface ornamentation. A design for surface ornamentation is inseparable from the article to which it is applied and cannot exist alone. It must be a definite pattern of surface ornamentation, applied to an article of manufacture.

The Patent Law provides for the granting of design patents to any person who has invented any new, original and ornamental design for an article of manufacture. A design patent protects only the appearance of the article and not its structural or utilitarian features. The principal statutes (United States Code) governing design patents are:

    35 U.S.C. 171
    35 U.S.C. 173
    35 U.S.C. 102
    35 U.S.C. 103
    35 U.S.C. 112
    35 U.S.C. 132

The rules (Code of Federal Regulations) pertaining to the drawing disclosure of a design patent application are:

    37 CFR § 1.84
    37 CFR § 1.152
    37 CFR § 1.121

The following additional rules have been referred to in this guide:

    37 CFR § 1.3
    37 CFR § 1.63
    37 CFR § 1.153

A copy of these laws and rules are included in the Appendix of this guide.

The practice and procedures relating to design patent applications are set forth in chapter 1500 of the Manual of Examining Procedure (MPEP). Inquiries relating to the sale of the MPEP should be directed to the Superintendent of Documents, United States Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402. Telephone: 202-512-1800.