A design patent protects the appearance and ornamental features of a manufactured object and not any other features of the object. The substance of a design patent application relates to the configuration or shape of an article, the surface ornamentation applied to an article or to the combination of configuration and surface ornamentation. An ornamental design may be incarnated in whole object or over a part of the object or may be applied to the object. If the design is just applied to the object, then the object must be shown separately in broken lines in the drawings disclosure and the design has to be shown as applied to the article. This is required as the object does not form part of the claimed design in such cases.
Design Patent Application
A design patent application may hold just a single claim. Independent and distinct design claims have to be filed in separate application. Designs are independent if they lack manifest relationship between objects and are distinct if they have different shapes and appearances even though they are related. The design patent application should include annotation to related applications, drawings or photographs, explanation of the figures in the drawing, a single claim, description of features, executed oath or declaration and a preamble stating name of the applicant, title of the design and a short account of the characteristics and intended use of the object in which the design is incarnated. An incomplete or poor drawing will result in a defective disclosure of design making it non patentable and hence drawing disclosure is of primary importance in filing a design patent application. A trained personnel’s service in filing an application assures better protection of design. A completed application is assigned an application number and filing date by the patent office on receiving appropriate fees and then the same is sent for examination, wherein it is checked for conformity with formalities, completeness of the drawing disclosure and inconsistency with prior art. Once the application passes the examination, then a notice of allowance will be sent to the applicant for payment of an issue fee. A design patent is valid for a shorter period of 14 years from the date of grant.
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