It’s not just the invention itself that can be patented. In many cases, a design or ornamental feature on an item can also be patented. There are a few things to know before you attempt to patent this kind of idea though. A California medical device patent lawyer from our firm can tell you more about the next steps and what it will take for your idea to secure a patent.

What Kind of Patent Can I Secure for a Design or Ornamental Feature?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, if you want to patent a design or ornamental feature you are going to need to secure a design patent. These types of patents are essentially a legal protection for any kind of design feature on a product. You can patent the shape of a product, if the shape is distinct enough, or even just the decoration displayed on the outside of it. There are many features that can qualify for design patent protection, but there are still some more specific rules about exactly what the United States Patent and Trademark Office will deem worthy of getting a patent.

What Would Be the Requirements to Patent a Design or Ornamental Feature?

The design or ornamental feature does not just have to look like a new thing in order to get a patent. One thing that frequently trips up inventors is the requirement that the design be repeatable. This means that you are using the same exact design each and every time.

Some creative features might not be repeatable. If your design, let’s say, involves splashing a product with paint to give its exterior a unique look, that may not be considered repeatable or patentable.

Is Getting a Patent Costly?

Unfortunately, you are not going to be able to patent your design for free. There is an entire bureaucracy and application process to work your way through. Expect this to cost at least $1,000 and be prepared to vociferously advocate for your design or ornamental feature and why it deserves patent protection.

While some balk at the cost of a patent, you have to remember that this is an investment. If you do not patent your design, someone else can patent something similar and make it impossible for you to patent your item. Someone could even obviously copy your design and you would have no recourse!

Do I Need a Lawyer?

Navigating the patent application process can seem daunting. There is a lot of paperwork to fill out and any mistakes made can cause delays and other issues. This is why we recommend talking to an attorney who can help you make your patent application. An attorney from our firm can help you determine whether or not applying for a patent is worthwhile, then we can make sure that your application is complete. If you need to appeal a patent decision, we can assist you with that as well.

Contact Our Patent Lawyers

If you want to learn more about what it will take to protect your design, contact Burns Patent Law. We would love to learn more about your invention and tell you how a patent could benefit you.