New York Design Patent Lawyers Provide Knowledgeable Counsel

Long Island firm helps clients prevent competitors from stealing their work

Even simple objects can become extraordinary if they have an appealing design. Accordingly, design patents exist to protect unique creations that stand out because of their appearance. Collard & Roe, P.C. is a Roslyn, New York intellectual property law firm that helps creators prevent others from copying their design. Whether you are unsure about what qualifies for a design patent, looking to start the registration process or believe an existing design patent has been infringed upon, our seasoned attorneys can give you the comprehensive legal support that you deserve.

What is protected under design patents?

Many products share similar functions and component parts but are distinguishable in the marketplace because of the way they look. Sunglasses are made in many different styles though they perform the same job, but one pair can look dramatically different from another style. Each unique style can be protected by a design patent.

Design patents are not just for items such as clothes that are mostly valued on their appearance. Smart phones, furniture, cars and even intricate sophisticated machinery can be novel in design. Establishing a design patent gives manufacturers the ability to prevent imitators from copying their product’s unique appearance.

When does one file a utility patent and when does one file a design patent?

A utility patent covers a function or process while a design patent covers the unique look of an object. For example, think of a coffee maker. A utility patent covers a new and inventive process for converting the coffee beans into aromatic brown liquid. A design patent covers the unique, novel appearance of the coffeemaker, such as an originally-styled carafe.

The lawyers at Collard & Roe, P.C. will review with you which form of protection is most appropriate for your invention.

Requirements for registering a design patent

Ornamental designs can be protected by their creators who follow the detailed rules set forth by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). You might even have a product where multiple elements can receive design patents. First, the design you submit must be original. Obviously, you cannot patent the color blue, but if you have created a unique visual scheme involving several colors, competitors could be legally barred from mimicking it. According to the USPTO, a design patent application should contain the following:

  • A preamble that includes the applicant’s name, title of the design and a description of how the object is used
  • A cross-reference to any related applications, such as when a utility patent is also being sought for the object
  • Descriptions of relevant design features
  • Line Drawings (typically black and white) and/or photographs of the item at issue

From start to finish, we will assist you with the design patent registration process so you can concentrate on marketing your product without fear of unlawful duplication.

Enforcing design patent rights

Utility patents often relate to innovative technology and are supported by complex diagrams and other scientific evidence. This can create clear distinctions during infringement disputes. Enforcing a design patent might be more complicated as the parties might be arguing over a subtle difference in a product’s shape or the colors used in an object’s overall design. Consequently, it is essential to retain a proven patent attorney who can give you an honest assessment if your product is subject to an infringement. Should you choose to proceed with the enforcement of your design patent, Collard & Roe, P.C. has substantial experience in protecting design rights and uses direct communication, administrative actions, petitions for equitable relief and litigation, if necessary, to enforce your rights.  

Contact a knowledgeable New York attorney to discuss a design patent matter

Call the attorneys at Collard & Roe, P.C. at 516-365-9802 or contact us online to schedule a consultation regarding design patents.