Design Patent Application

Design patents are awarded for the ornamental design of a functional item. Often augmenting a utility patent, which is awarded for providing some novel benefit or usefulness, a design patent protects the “look” of a product. For instance, a headlight for a vehicle may incorporate some innovative illumination source for improving visibility, thus deserving of a utility patent. While the shape of the overall headlight and how it fits with the bumper/fender/hood may be protected by a design patent because it’s simply ornamental.

Design patents often provide a cost effective method for protecting the non-utility aspect of an invention, and very commonly may be filed when the question of utility surrounding an invention is ambiguous. Ornamental designs of jewelry, vehicles, beverage containers, and computer icons are examples of ornamental designs that are protected by design patents.