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Design Patent Basics. Steven A. Nielsen Registered Patent Attorney California Lawyers for the Arts November 9, 2005. What is a patent ? A right to exclude others What is patentable ? Machines Plants Designs. USPTO Definition of “Design”.

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design patent basics

Design Patent Basics

Steven A. Nielsen

Registered Patent Attorney

california lawyers for the arts november 9 2005
California Lawyers for the ArtsNovember 9, 2005
  • What is a patent ?
      • A right to exclude others
  • What is patentable ?
      • Machines
      • Plants
      • Designs
uspto definition of design
USPTO Definition of “Design”
  • Visual ornamental characteristics embodied in, or applied to, an article of manufacture.
  • Since a design is manifested in appearance, the subject matter of a design patent application may relate to the configuration or shape of an article, to the surface ornamentation applied to an article, or to the combination of configuration and surface ornamentation.
uspto definition of design1
USPTO definition of “Design”
  • A design for surface ornamentation is inseparable from the article to which it is applied and cannot exist alone. It must be a definite pattern of surface ornamentation, applied to an article of manufacture.

A Guide to Filing a Design Patent Application, USPTO (2005) (emphasis added)

interesting examples of design patents
Interesting Examples of Design Patents
  • Spiritual aura angel with wings appliqué Issued Nov. 8, 2005 D511,405
spiritual aura angel with wings appliqu issued nov 8 2005 d511 405
Spiritual aura angel with wings appliqué Issued Nov. 8, 2005 D511,405
  • Application filed on September 9, 2003

Definition of “appliqué”

Fabric pieces sewn on fabric:

Shaped pieces of fabric sewn on a foundation fabric to from a design or pattern

Encarta Dictionary




  • File before you sell.
  • Initial cost to file is around $250 plus drawings $300 and perhaps cost for a patent attorney or patent agent. Patent pending status.
  • Issue fee is $400, optional publication will cost $300.
  • Term is 14 years.
  • Maintenance fees, None for design patents.
thank you
Thank You !

If you have any questions, please ask. You are welcome to send your questions or comments by email.

Steven A. Nielsen

Allman & Nielsen

100 Larkspur Landing Circle, Suite 212

Larkspur, CA 94939

(415) 461- 2700

“Marin Patent Attorney”