Design Patent Applications
Design patents cover the nonfunctional ornamental aspects of an object (like the look of an iPod or a pair of Nike sneakers). The design must also be new and nonobvious. Design patents last 14 years. A design patent application must be directed to an ornamental design for an article of manufacture (an object). The object must have some functional use. The design must be inseparable from the object and not merely surface ornamentation. Design and utility patents are each entitled to claim priority from each other.
A design patent application has three primary parts: (1) a title, (2) a claim describing the design, and (3) one or more drawings. The title and the claim describe the “article of manufacture” (i.e. the object) to which your design relates. The title and design should be crafted broadly to cover all possible uses. The drawings for the design application should show as many views of the claimed design as are necessary to fully describe and disclose the design, because no new matter may be added after the application has been filed. Broken or dashed lines may be used to show portions of the object not pertinent to the claimed design. We recommend at least three views: (1) a top plan view, (2) a side plan view, and (3) a perspective (i.e. three-dimensional) view.