Design Patents: The Most Underused Gem

Most people believe that they are obligated to file a utility patent when they invent a device, gadget, or even software application. While utility patents are important, inventors tend to ignore the benefits offered by design patents.

Different types of patent applications

Utility Patents

Design Patents

Compared to utility patent applications, design applications are cheaper to draft and file. They also have a lower rejection rate than utility applications.

Advantages of Design Patents

For example, a design patent can be filed for a user-interface, icon, glyph, etc. as well as any tangible (physical) invention along with a utility application. By doing so, inventors can protect both the look and the functionality of their inventions. Enforcing design patent rights also tend to be easier than utility patent rights since the discovery process during litigation of a design patent is easier than that of a utility patent.


Originally published at on October 9, 2019.



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