Design patents play a pivotal role in protecting innovative designs that are foundational to the IP of companies. The experienced design patent attorneys of M&D bring a long history of obtaining and enforcing design patent rights worldwide. We have deep experience in navigating the federal regulatory changes from our base in Washington, D.C. and Virginia. This enables us to better represent our clients in design patent matters before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, federal courts and district courts across the United States.

Utility and Design Patents

The best patent attorneys understand the difference and intersectionality of design patents and utility patents granted by the U.S. Patent Office. It is crucial that a business have the legal
expertise and support to determine which type of patents apply to protect their IP. This starts with businesses understanding the basics benefits that define utility patents, including:

  • Protecting an invention’s functional aspects
  • Providing broad patent protection that discourages product infringement
  • Protection of numerous variations of a product with a single utility patent

Two of the challenges involved in the utility patent process include cost and a long approval process of up to three years for patent protection. 

There are also clear benefits to design patents, including the following:

    • A timelier patent protection process of two years or less
    • Protection of main product appearance features

Design patents are limited in that they don’t protect functional aspects of the product and they
also require a highly precise filing to guard against design infringement by changing the overall
appearance of a competing product. In addition, product variations are difficult to protect.

M&D Patent Protection Scope

As a leading patent law firm, M&D helps startups and corporate clients to determine the best path to patent protection via utility and design patents. It’s less common in the communications and technology sectors to have products that are unique in their function, structure, and design. These companies will need to consider filing both a utility patent application and a design patent application.
As a firm with a strong focus on communications and technology, M&D provides a seamless approach to legal support for both design patents and utility patents.

While our experience runs across a wide swath of these sectors, here are just a few of the areas in which we

  • Wireless, satellite and Cellular communication
  • Software
  • Network technology
  • Computer & Peripheral Equipment
  • Printing & Display technology
  • Semiconductor and Circuit Design process technology
  • Medical devices
  • Electrical components

Our design patent attorneys assist clients with many services, including:

  • Patent prosecution
  • Due diligence
  • Design and illustration Services
  • Licensing
  • Enforcement
  • Litigation
  • IP docket management services

By providing our clients with a holistic approach to the entire IP lifecycle, M&D can help companies at all stages of development, production, marketing and dissemination to ensure that their IP is protected and monitored across all uses.