Design Patent Applications (US)

From $995, plus government fees

Design patents protect the ornamental appearance of an invention, not how the invention functions. As such, design patents are less expensive and still allow you to legally claim "patent pending" while the application is pending at the US Patent & Trademark Office (PTO). However, they're not considered as strong as utility patents (assuming you can get a utility patent, which is much more difficult).  Many clients do both utiilty and design patent applications since the design patent is so inexpensive, so likely to get approved, and will likely be granted more quickly.  In fact, the design patent may be the first arrow you can shoot at a competitor, since utility patents often take 2 to 3 years just to get to the examination.  

Here is a more complete comparison with utility patents. Be sure you understand the ramifications of filing a design patent if you're just trying to save money... you may be advised to file a provisional patent application and then follow-up a year later with a utility patent. We can help you make that decision... please ask if you are at all unsure.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Design Patents

Benefits Drawbacks
Inexpensive (compared to Utility Patents) Protects "ornamental appearance" only, not "how it works" or utility aspects
Allows you to legally indicate "patent pending" after filed Only 15 year duration instead of 17-20 years with utility patent
Good for protecting items with ornamental or aesthetic appeal (i.e.., clothing, consumer electronics enclosures, sunglasses, etc.) Does not protect "how" the invention works
Filing fees are less expensive than utility patent Drawings more expensive ($125/sheet vs. $100) because they're more detailed
More likely to be granted than utility patents (~95% vs ~50%) Only covers one design, not multiple designs of the same product.
Unlikely to be initially rejected by the PTO (95% allowance rate)  
Tyipcally granted in about one year instead of two-to-three years  

See all of the design patents we've obtained for clients to-date:


All Design Patent Applications include:

  1. Cover Sheet and Title Of Invention
  2. Brief Description of the Drawings (see drawings typically required with design patents)
  3. One Claim (design patents can only have one claim)
  4. Up to Three Drawing Sheets (add'l at $125 per sheet)

Note: Design Patents revolve around the very detailed, complex drawings that are required. As such, these drawing sheets are typically billed at $125 per sheet as opposed to $100 for utility patents. Please see the patent drawing and samples pages for further information and examples. We need very detailed sketches or photos of a prototype, from all angles (front, back, left side, right side, top, bottom, and one perspective view--see the design patent example and this video for all of the views that are required). We can't do the patent drawings without these views, so these photos or sketches, or an actual product sample, are required before we can begin work.