MPEP 1502.01 – Design vs. Utility

MPEP 1500 – Design Patents

MPEP 1502.01 – Distinction between design and utility patents

Utility -> Protects the way an article is used and works (35 USC 101)

Design -> Protects the way an article looks (35 USC 171) – Ornamental appearance (shape/configuration)

Common differences:

  1. Patent Term – Utility (20 years from earliest effective filing date); Design (Based on date of grant; 14 years if filed prior to May 13, 2015, 15 years if filed on or after May 13, 2015).
  2. Maintenance fees – Utility (required); Design (none)
  3. Claims – Utility (one or more); Design (one)
  4. Restriction – Utility (discretionary by examiner); Design (required)
  5. International – Utility (PCT); Design (Hague Agreement)
  6. Foreign priority – Utility (file within 12 months); Design (file within 6 months)
  7. Provisional – Utility (Yes); Design (No)
  8. RCE – Utility (Yes); Design (No)
  9. CPA – Utility (No); Design (Yes –  See – 37 CFR 1.53(d)(1))
  10. Publication under 35 USC 122(b)(2) – Utility (Yes); Design (No).

 

 

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