A new, useful and ornamental article of manufacture
A design patent relates to a new, useful and ornamental article of manufacture. As with a utility patent, the patented invention must be new and useful. However, the invention must also be ornamental. It must embody an ornamental design or reflect ornamental or aesthetic judgment beyond that required to make an efficient, functioning article. An example of an ornamental article is the Bic ballpoint pen. The Bic incorporates several ornamental features including a transparent body of six-sided cross-section, a gold plastic tip assembly, an internal translucent tube for holding the ink, and an end cap whose color is that of the ink contained in the pen. The pen could be protected by a design patent with these various elements of aesthetic judgment incorporated into it.
A design patent is granted for a patent term of 14 years from the date of grant.
Examples of items that may be protected by Design Patents include: shapes of articles, type fonts, doll designs, toy designs, jewelry designs, tool designs, and many other ornamental designs of an unlimited variety of product, etc.