• The Importance of Synchronizing Design Patent and Utility Patent Applications
  • April 23, 2018 | Author: Andrew Keith Wichmann
  • Law Firm: Gordon Feinblatt LLC - Baltimore Office
  • Many products, especially consumer-facing products, have both valuable functional aspects and ornamental aspects. For example the functionality of the motor of a kitchen blender may be protectable by a utility patent whereas the appearance of the blender’s housing may be protectable by a design patent. When pursuing both design patents and utility patents for a product, applicants should be aware of certain pitfalls. For example, an earlier published utility patent application can serve as prior art against a later filed design patent application, which can render the later filed application unpatentable. Thus Applicants may consider filing a utility application and a design application at the same time. Alternatively, an Applicant may file a single utility application that includes the scope of design protection desired, and then later file a separate design patent application claiming benefit to the earlier filed utility application.