- What are your chances of getting a design patent?
The average design allowance rate, which is the proportion of design patent applications accepted by the USPTO, is a useful tool to assess your chances of getting a US design patent. The design allowance percentage was over 85% in the fiscal year 2021. While the success of your design patent application cannot be guaranteed, it is comforting to know that the great majority of design patent applications in the United States are eventually granted.
- What can reduce your chances of success in a design patent application?
A number of issues might reduce your chances of acquiring a US design patent. Some of the issues are minor and can be readily resolved. Other problems can be far more serious, even fatal.
The quality of design patent drawings is one of the most typical concerns that occur in design patent applications. Unlike utility patent figures, design patent drawings must adhere to the USPTO’s stringent guidelines. In design patent applications coming from overseas applicants or claiming priority to foreign priority applications, drawing details such as surface shading are frequently missing or insufficient.
- Can your design patent application be rejected for not being new or unique?
In comparison to utility patent applications, design patent applications receive fewer rejections based on previous art. Nonetheless, design patent rejections do happen from time to time when the patent examiner discovers a design that is substantially similar to one seen in prior patents, goods, or literature. With photographs easily accessible on the Internet these days, finding a previous product with a comparable design isn’t as tough, especially if the examiner is already familiar with one.
If applicants are aware of any comparable preceding designs, they must file an Information Disclosure Statement with the USPTO to reveal any known and relevant prior art (IDS). We periodically get questions from current and potential clients about whether their new invention is patentable over certain earlier designs that they are aware of. Regardless of our opinions, if the Patent Office decides to submit a design patent application, those known previous designs must be disclosed.
- How does design patent probability compare to utility patent probability?
Unlike design patent applications, which have a high success rate, utility patent applications have a high rejection percentage, at least during the initial assessment. With an initial rejection rate of 86 percent, you may expect at least one patent rejection for the vast majority of utility non-provisional patent applications. When you compare the 86 percent rejection rate for utility patents to the 90 percent approval rate for design patents, you can see why design patent applications are so much simpler to get.