Friday, 10 January 2020

How is utility patent different from design patent?

Patent designs have been gaining a global level popularity due to the fact that without them, the final ownership and acceptance of a new technology or invention cannot be gained. However, many a times there exists a dramatic confusion between the two prime words popularly used in the patent world- Utility Patent and Design Patent. The naïve users often tend to confuse between these two primarily used terms but, interestingly, there exists a basic difference between the two along with the similarity that both of these are relatively related to patent applications.
Before we start, here's a tabular view on the two:-
Utility Patent Design Patent
Relates to protect the working of any invention Relates to protecting only the shape of the invention
Has the power to stop anyone from taking a similar invention further, regardless of the invention's shape. Doesn't deal with forbidding anyone from taking the invention further, if a different exterior shape is used
Mandatorily should explain the working on the invention and how it is put together Doesn't explain the invention works but, just deals with the exterior design
As is evident from the above mentioned table, it can be derived that a Utility Patent Drawings and a design patent are not mutually exclusive. This means that one may need both as they protect different aspects of an invention. Most of the inventors do apply for the utility patent for protecting the invention's workings and design patent for protecting the looks of the invention, as well. Thus, it can be simply said that both, design patent and utility patents aren't substitutes for each other; rather, they go hand in hand! Mostly, the utility patents are granted for inventions like- Machines, Articles of manufacture, Process (Business process etc) and Composition of matter. Utility Patents are different from Design Patents as Design patents are mostly for the original, novel and ornamental designs. Unlike the utility patents, design patents don't need an additional maintenance, post their grant.  It can also be said that Design Patents are almost similar to the subset of Utility Patent and Copyright. Utility patents are granted for tenure of 20 years whereas, Design patents on the other hand are granted for 15years in the US. However, for the general grants, Utility patents are granted for 7- 10 years. The Utility Model practice in some of the countries only requires a preliminary examination before getting the grant. Even though, "Novelty" remains to be a prime criterion here, as well, but the standard may vary from country to country. Also, the criterions and limits for both these grants may differ based on the country's jurisdictions, as well that gives birth to the varying rules. Thus, one can definitely understand that there exists a basic to higher level difference between the two factors relating to getting the grants fro any invention but, it will not be an overwhelming statement to sya that both of these go hand in hand. Every invention needs both these grants to practice a uniquely formed invention and its application.