* Design Patents vs. Utility Patents

17 Seconds #96. Useful Info Quickly.

In general terms, a utility patent protects the way an article is used and works (35 U.S.C. 101), while a design patent protects the way an article looks (35 U.S.C. 171). The ornamental appearance for an article includes its shape/configuration or surface ornamentation applied to the article, or both. Both design and utility patents may be obtained on an article if the invention resides both in its utility and ornamental appearance (MPEP 1502.01).


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