My Industrial Design Needs a Patent, But Which One Should I File?

What Type of Patent Should I File?

Knowing what type of patent to file to protect your industrial design is important and a step to not be missed. But navigating the different types of patents can be a maze! Where do you start? Which one is the right one for you? When you’re working with us, we will connect you with our best in class partner patent attorneys to help you file your patent. But it helps to know your options for your first meeting.

First off, design, utility and provisional patents are three of the most popular patents you can file. A design patent protects a design on a useful item. For example, a shape of a bottle or design of a new boot. This type of patent is almost entirely made up of drawings or photographs of the design versus words.

With industrial design, filing design patents is key.

Apple won the patent lawsuit against Samsung for violating 6 of Apple’s key design patents.

Utility Patent:

A utility patent is one of the most common patents that first comes to mind. This patent is a long and technical document that teaches the public how to use your industrial design. This includes its process and/or system. An example of this would be new technologies like new software.

In industrial design, design patents give you rights to your product's design.

One of the violated design patents was the ornamental design of the iPhone, meaning the rectangular shape and form belong to Apple.

Provisional Patent:

A provisional patent can go hand-in-hand with utility patents. This is a less formal document that proves the industrial designer was in possession of the invention. Once you file this type of patent your invention is “patent pending”. However, following this informal patent, you’ll need to submit a utility patent within a given amount of time or you’ll lose the patent.

Now, where do you start? First off, a provisional patent can be one of your best options as it buys you time and as you apply for a patent, but considering all the ways to protect your new industrial design and product is important. Different patent filings give you different options but to make it simple, a design patent will protect the look of the invention, the utility patent will protect how it works and the provisional patent will give you more time.

Before you discuss your options with your Patent Attorney, here’s an article to help with your application.

MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to small businesses, startups, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, patent referral, prototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry’s leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Feel free to Contact Us anytime for help with your project.

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