Design Patents — The First Arrow in your Quiver

Here’s an article I wrote for Inventorz Networkz about the pros & cons of design patents…

For many patent attorneys, design patents are like the strange relatives that live in another state.  They don’t really understand them, but since they only show-up once or twice a year they can be tolerated.  Indeed, in 2014 only 38 law firms in the United States obtained more than ten design patents all year,[1] and 16 utility patent applications were filed for every one design patent application.[2]  As an inventor, then, your patent attorney may not even broach the subject of design patents.  And if you don’t know to ask about them yourself, you may miss out on an important tool in your arsenal against your competitors.

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[1] Ant-like Persistence “2014 US Design Patent Toteboard,”

[2] U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, “U.S. Patent Statistics Chart 1963-2014,”

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