What New Small Business Owners Need To Understand About Design Patents

Posted on: 11 June 2019

If your new small business hopes to design products for mass production and resale, then it's important you understand about design patents. To have a long-term business, you will need to obtain patents for each product you design.

Why Your Small Business's Design Requires a Patent

One of the biggest issues facing product inventors is the large upfront cost of producing the end product for retailers to sell. For example, what happens if your new widget becomes the next big thing with teenagers and retailers order millions of units for immediate delivery? How will you pay the manufacturing costs when there will be a delay in your business getting paid?

While this is a fantastic problem to have, if you can't raise the quick capital to fulfill the order, then you won't ever see the big payday. And, without a patent on your product invention, venture capitalists and other lenders aren't likely to work with you no matter how great they personally think your product is.

It's simply too big of a risk because an unpatented product can easily be poached by a big manufacturer and mass produced and there isn't anything you can do about it. A patent protects your invention from this fate, and without one, your product is always at risk of duplication or even patenting by another company.

The Expected Timeframe for Obtaining a Design Patent

Design patents take priority over utility patents with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. This makes the process of obtaining a design patent faster than being granted a patent for a product's functionality.

However, you can still expect the process to take at least a year and sometimes closer to two or three. While this may seem like a lifetime, it's important to remember the purpose of the patent is to preserve your ownership of the design for the long term. 

For Additional Design Patent Information and Assistance

Since applying for a design patent isn't a simple, quick, nor inexpensive venture for your small business, it's important to have someone on your side who knows the intricacies of this area of law.

By far, the best person for the job is a patent attorney working for a patent law firm in your local area. They will help you with the paperwork and research aspect of the patent as well as helping to navigate you away from the known potholes in this complicated process. For more information, reach out to law firms like Russ Weinzimmer & Associates PC.