Should I get a design or utility patent? 2 Answers as of May 01, 2011

My invention consists of a design that has an interchangeable part. The main component by itself is a holder to hold decorative items but I have a part that can be interchanged to hold different sizes. My dilemma is that I want to be protected for my main component by itself as well as with the interchangeable piece and I am not sure which patent would suit me best.

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Mark S. Hubert PC
Mark S. Hubert PC | Mark Hubert
Hard to say without seeing the invention but if I were to guess I would say just get a design patent with the middle sized insert shown in the drawings.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 5/1/2011
Intellectual Property Center, LLC
Intellectual Property Center, LLC | Ak Shaf
I don't know, the initial question should be what is the difference between a design and utility patent or what is a design/utility patent. A design patent protects the ornamental aspects of a useful article. Both the utility patent and the design patent have specific uses. A utility patent protects the functional aspects of the useful article. Generally, a design patent has a shorter patent term and the utility patent has a longer term, a design patent has more limited protection and the utility patent has broader protection, the design patent is less expensive and a utility patent is more expensive.

While you are using the terms design and ornamental in your description, it sounds like you are more interested in a utility patent. Let me know if you have any further questions.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 4/29/2011
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