A design patent search includes searching through existing patents to ensure that your design hasn’t been patented before. For original, unique, and ornamental designs for an item, a design patent is available. It enables an investor to invent a new way to design an existing product. The design patent protects the novel design without affecting the item’s patent. A design patent only covers the appearance of an item, not its utility. It is advisable to do a design patent search before filing a design patent since it can save an inventor’s investment or expenses on the subject product design. It also allows the investor to make changes throughout the working stage, which is beneficial for obtaining patents. Design patent is granted for a period of 14 years from the date of filing.
Although design patents can be found in almost every industry, there are a few common areas where they can be found. Furniture, food preparation, sporting goods, toys, hardware, tools, games, and communication equipment are the most common.
Benefit of Design Patent Search?
A design patent search is essential because it prevents you from copying an existing patent. You can search for existing design patents on several websites. However, be cautious when conducting your own search. Some websites have restrictions, and you won’t be able to find all of the existing design patents.
You can search the library of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). If you don’t have access to a physical library, Google Patent Search and the USPTO website can help. Simple Patents and Quick Patents, for example, are paid design patent search services that may give more results. To use one of these search tools, you must pay a fee.
When conducting a design patent search, it is difficult to search by keyword. The drawings are the most descriptive parts of an application. As a result, you’ll need to conduct a more thorough image search.
During their search, many inventors discover that design patents for their ideas already exist. This saves time and money in the design patent process.
The application must be filed within 12 months if your design has been exposed in a public place. A display at a show or a drawing of the design published in any kind of publication are examples of this. There is no timeframe if the design has never been displayed publicly. However, if you don’t secure your design idea, it could be stolen.
What Can Go Wrong if You Don’t perform a Design Patent Search?
You could submit an application for something that is patented without doing a complete design patent search. Don’t assume a design doesn’t exist just because you’ve never seen it on a product before.
An application fee is required when applying for a design patent. You don’t want to pay this charge for something that can’t be patented. A patent application can also take several years to be approved.