What is a Design Patent?
Let’s say a shoe company develops a new style of tennis shoe. When the company has finished developing the shoe and is ready to take the shoe to market, they want to protect their investment by filing for a Patent. The tennis shoe the company has developed is a new style of tennis shoe. The tennis shoe works like other tennis shoes but what is different is the look of the tennis shoe. Since the company invested a lot of money developing the tennis shoe, they want to make a return on that investment and inhibit anybody else from making,selling or using a tennis shoe that looks like their tennis shoe. The company will choose to file for a Design Patent to protect their new style of tennis shoe. Since it is the “look” or “appearance” of the shoe that is different, a Design Patent is the best type of Patent to protect the new shoe. If what is different about your invention is the way that it looks, you should file for a Design Patent. Design Patents have a term of 14 years