What Type of Patent Should I File?

by | Jan 19, 2018 | Industrial Design, industrial design company, Patenting, Prototype Design, Prototypes

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.

Article Author: MAKO Design + Invent

Article Author: MAKO Design + Invent

Company Team

MAKO Design + Invent is a full-service consumer product development firm servicing both high-growth corporate manufacturers and invention startups. With a 25-person team across 3 offices (Austin, England, Toronto), MAKO has complete in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering design and prototyping services. To assist our start-up inventor clients, we also have a subsidiary branch called Mako Invent that, in addition to above, helps start-ups with patenting, strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. For our corporate clients, MAKO Design develops world-class consumer electronics designs through our industrial, mechanical, and electrical design teams.



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