Design patents are a narrower type of patent, as compared to a utility patent, and last for 14 years. Design patents protect the ornamental features and overall design of an invention. Benefits of a design patent include cost, timing, and risk. The preparation and filing cost for a design patents is substantially less than a utility patent, there is typically no prosecution required, and there are no maintenance fees. Design patents also issue faster than utility patents, with an average time of one year between filing and issuance. The chances of receiving a design patent are substantially greater than a utility patent, and our firm has an approximate 96% success rate.
Design patents are charged a flat fee of $1,875 for legal services in preparing and filing. In addition to legal fees, you will be responsible for a $240 government filing fee, and the cost of formal patent drawings ($150-$300). Upon issuance you will be responsible for a $450 in government and legal issuance fees.
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Important Changes to Patent Law in the US
New 35 USC § 102 – FIRST TO FILE
Under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, the U.S. patent system will be changing to a “first to file” system. This change takes place on March 16th, 2013 and will impact you. In addition to being the first to invent, you must also be the first to file a patent application or you will not be able to obtain a patent. Both a provisional and nonprovisional patent are considered filings for purposes of securing rights to your invention. Timing is imperative as a result of these changes and you should attempt to have a patent filed as soon as possible. As a consequence of these changes, another person may file for a patent on your invention or an invention similar thereto and prevent you from ever obtaining a patent – this is true regardless of whether you were the first to invent. All patents filed on or after March 16th, 2013 are subject to these new laws.