People who mother new ideas or designs of products often look for patenting them. The process surely improves the safety for their new invention. You may have a unique design for the building industry or may have conceptualised and designed a product for speeding up some culinary process which may revolutionize the related industry.
Whatever may be the origin of your innovation, a patenting process will nexus between your creativity and your ultimate business goal, which will keep others away from stealing your idea and claiming it to be theirs.
Many inventors who choose moving ahead all alone without professional help think they do not need any assistance with the tasks that are involved in appropriately patenting their ideas or designs. It is all well, if the process moves on smoothly but more than often people face stumbling blocks in the lengthy process trying to push through a method of trial and error. Professional services towards this end can help with proper documentation and protection of your creative idea.
Whether you decide to move ahead with the process of patenting on your own or take help from an agency specialising in design patents will depend on your knowledge about the process, time you can dedicate to it and your preference. However with an agency that specialises in patenting things could become much smoother, faster and hassle free as you could get proper guidance regarding how to go about the entire process. However, it is always better to take some the time out from your schedule and familiarise yourself with the process prior to getting started with the process of patenting.
There is a simple reason why people desire to patent product ideas; it is simply because they plan to earn a profit from the originality. Basically three major steps are involved in the process of patenting
• The search
• preparing the patent application
• The prosecution
These are the steps that remain same for all the products that are patented, though there may be a variation in the effort that is involved and also in the complexity of the process. A good patent agency that specialises in technical as well as design patent make all these processes smooth sailing, as an error in the application form could land you in much trouble and there may be severe delay in the patenting process. Moreover they have the knowledge, resources and the expertise to make the search process easier and more reliable so that later on there are no hurdles to falter upon. Some of the firms even offer free product assessment services. Technical Corrections that revise provisions are things that that are kept a tab on only by professional services. It becomes difficult for individuals to trail the rules change from time to time. This may be a good reason to seek help from professional patent agencies when it comes to filing an application for securing your design.
As far as the United States is concerned a design patent is granted to a "new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture". The design may have only a single claim. Once granted, a design patent holds good for fourteen years from the date of the approval. There is a difference between a design patent and a utility patent. One must understand that a design patent must be only for the ‘Design’ and is not granted for its function or utility.
In case a design includes elements that are functional as well as non-functional, the extent of the claim would be restricted to identify only the ornamental aspects of a particular design revealed in the patent.
On the other hand the utility patent protects the functional aspects of an invention. The application for a utility patent is more expensive than an application for a design patent. Both the patents have their individual functions and you have to decide which one protects your invention better and serves your purpose the best. Typically speaking a utility patent protects inventions better than just a design patent.
However there are certain advantages of a design patent and they are
• The application for a design patent is cheaper than an utility patent
• The process is generally faster than the utility patent at the U.S. Patent office.
• If the main feature is focussed on the appearance of the product, then this patent will protect it better.
• However under certain circumstances where the ornamental appearance and the utility both require protection, adequate patent protection can be achieved by applying for a utility patent as well as a design patent.
The process may be a little complicated, but with appropriate expert help from a patent agency things would move better and smoothly.
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