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 product design is important and a step of the product development process that is not to be missed. However, navigating the different types of patents can be like making your way through a maze! Where do you start? Which route is the right one for you?

When you’re working with MAKO Design + Invent, we guide you through the process and can connect you with our best-in-class patent attorney partners to help you file your patent. Regardless, it helps to know your options for your first meeting.

Essentially, design, utility, and provisional patents are three of the most popular patents you can file.

Design Patent:

A design patent protects the innovative design of an item from being stolen or used by another creator or company. For example, the shape of a bottle or the design of a new boot. This type of patent is predominantly based entirely on 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.

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.

Utility Patent

A utility patent is one of the most common patents that often first comes to mind. This patent is a long and technical document that teaches the public how to use your industrial design. This includes the protection of your product’s unique processes or system(s). An excellent example of this would be a new technology or software.

Provisional Patent:

A provisional patent goes hand-in-hand with a utility patent. This is a less formal document that proves the industrial designer was in possession of the invention first. Once you file this type of patent your invention will be listed as ‘patent pending’. However, following this informal procedure, you’ll need to submit a utility patent within a given amount of time, or you may lose the patent.

Patent Pending File

Now, where do you start? First off, a provisional patent can be one of your best options as it buys you time as you apply for a patent. However, 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 ensure others do not steal the look of the invention, the utility patent will protect how it works, and the provisional patent will give you more time to complete the patenting process.

Before you discuss this with your patent attorney, check out this article that will help with your application and ensure no grave mistakes are made.

About: MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to startups, small manufacturers, 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 designmechanical engineeringelectrical engineeringpatent referralprototyping, 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. Click HERE to learn more about MAKO Design + Invent!

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