Preparing and filling Design patent is fairly simple, at least compared to preparing and filing a utility patent and if you are a self-starter with a do it yourself mindset, you can with a bit of work prepare your own design patent application and have hundreds of dollars.
The complete design patent application consists of :
- the “specification” – a written document that includes a permeable, description of drawing and design and single “claim”.
- drawing showing the appearance of your design
- The Design Patent Application Transmittal, cover a sheet that accompanies your application.
- the declaration a simple oath, provided by a designer.
- the Fee Application Transmittal Form
- Filing Fee
You can file the application by email, electronically via the USPTO’s electronic filing system(EFS).
The specification is very simple to prepare. The elements of a specification are very straightforward. You can find plenty of sample designs patents at the USPTO website or by searching google patents. Heres a quick brief down:
a. Preamble: one or two boilerplates sentences announcing that you are seeking design patent.
b. Cross-reference related to patent application: Here you have to indicate previously assigned design application to which one is related.
c. Statement regarding Federally sponsored R&D: indicate here if the design was prepared under government grant or a part of government research.
d. Description of figures of Drawing: Describe the view present on each drawing sheet.
e. Feature Description: Provide a short description of the drawing.
You are allowed to provide an informal drawing with your application, such as rough sketches or photograph, but your application will not be examined until you provide the formal drawing with your application similar to those in the drawing. Designs are commonly depicted in different views or figures, for example, top views, side views or disassembled views. You should present as many views as are necessary to demonstrate your design. Each view provides another way of “seeing” the design. Each view is given a discrete figure number.
The Designer is the Inventor
For historical reason, the USPTO often refers to the designer as the inventor and to the design of the invention. As the inventors, only you have the right to apply for design patents. Even if you signed away your rights to someone else or you were employed to create the design, you must still be listed as the inventor and sign the application. However, the issued patent’s application will indicate that your right has been assigned.
Employed to create
If you are employed to create design, your employer may own right in resulting design patents. Who owns the design depends on the contents of your employment agreement, your employer’s policies, whether you used your employer’s time and resource to create the design, and state law regarding employees ownership right.
Unless you pay for the expedited processing of your application, you will have to wait one or two years of your design patent, and you cannot use it to stop from copying your design until the patent has been granted. Moreover, design patents automatically expire 14 years after they are issued and you cannot renew them.
If you cannot do it yourself
You can always hire an attorney or patent agent to review and analyze your designs and advice you on whether pursuing a design patent is worthwhile. The attorney or agent can prepare the patent application. If there is a problem at the USPTO for example, an examiner challenges your application the attorney or agent can respond and keep the application on track. In addition to the filing fees mentioned above, you’ll have to pay between $750 and $1,500 for:
- an attorney to draft and file the application, and
- a patent draftsperson to create the drawings.