Hello friends how are you all? Today we are going to talk about The Rising Importance of Design Patent Application Drawings. 2013 was a momentous year for the global patents industry. Design patents entered the media spotlight as Spanx, Inc. (also known as Spanx) filed a declaratory judgment complaint against Times Three Clothier (DBA – Yummie Tummie) in the Northern District of Georgia.
- On March 5, 2013, the CEO of Spanx requested the court to proclaim that three of its products didn’t infringe Yummie Tummie’s seven design patents.
- After tumultuous battles in court, fueled by considerable amounts of media coverage, the District Court for Southern District of New York ruled in favor of Spanx.
- The court found glaring inconsistencies in the drawings in Yummie Tummie’s seven design patents.
- Spanx claimed indefiniteness using the inconsistencies present in Yummie Tummie’s design patents.
Whenever such patent lawsuits pit two prominent companies against one another, inventors are reminded of the importance of high-quality design patent drawings.
The Rising Importance of Design Patent Application Drawings and Why Design Patent Applicants Need Professional Assistance
IllustrationsIin Design Patents – The Rising Importance
In 2012, Apple had used highly detailed design patent drawings in its court fight against Samsung to effectively send a $1 billion warning to other mobile manufacturing companies planning to make their phones look like iPhones. Since then, the message for the people involved in the patent industry is very clear – if you’re filing a design patent application, it better feature highly detailed illustrations.
Highly detailed design patent illustrations can help you defend your invention against infringers, just like Apple did in 2012.
Similarly, not having highly detailed illustrations in your design patent application could lead to your company suffering a similar fate as Yummie Tummie. Even if your patents are original, they can be easily stolen by other applicants. If your patents don’t contain highly detailed illustrations, proving the novelty of your inventions will be extremely challenging in court.
Why Illustrations In Design Patents Are More Important Than Illustrations In Utility Patents
Unlike utility patent applications, design patent applications typically contain very little text/writing. Illustrations are the main tool for inventors to explain and make claims about their novel designs. Sure, all design patent applications contain brief descriptions of the items for which the designs are used. But, these writings are only there to amplify and better explain the illustrations.
- Illustrations Determine Approval/Rejection – It’s fair to say that after 2012, design patent drawings have become the sole basis for approval/rejection of design patent applications, especially in the USPTO. Without clear, concise, and properly labeled illustrations, it’s impossible to receive or defend design patents.
- The Illustrations Need to Meet USPTO Requirements – Even if the design you’re trying to explain in your patent application doesn’t require multiple views or POVs, the USPTO requires applicants to include views of their designs from the right and left sides, front and rear, and top and bottom. Patent applicants who omit any view need to provide details about why they did so.
- One Chance to Succeed – After receiving a design patent, patent holders can’t make modifications to the overall design of their inventions. So, they essentially have one chance to include all the elements of their designs in their design patent illustrations.
- Strict Deadlines – Design patent applicants need to submit all necessary design patent drawings with their applications to the USPTO. They have 12 months to do so. Let’s say you discuss details about your new design at a public forum on the 1st of January. By 31st December, all design-related illustrations need to be submitted to the USPTO. The time limit for filing patent design applications is within 12 months of public introduction.
Why Design Patent Applicants Need Professional Assistance
Creating high-quality design patent drawings is not easy. Illustrators need to follow specific rules for specific jurisdictions. They also need to present complex designs and processes in the simplest of ways. These illustrations must also add clarity to the invention. Or else, just like Yummie Tummie in 2013, inventors won’t be able to assert the novelty of their inventions in legal procedures.
That’s why design patent applicants are advised to partner with providers of professional-grade design patent application drawings. Professional patent illustrators study the claims of their clients’ inventions. Then, they create highly detailed drawings to reinforce those claims. These experts follow all compliance requirements. They create lucid drawings that are unique and hard to replicate.
By doing so, they cut down the risk of future claims against their clients’ patents. Patent drawing services are affordable. In fact, if you’re applying for protection in multiple jurisdictions, the quality of work that these experts provide makes these services seem too cheap!
Professional patent illustrators work very fast, making sure their clients never fail to meet deadlines. They follow the rules and regulations of different patent offices. They never refrain from providing multiple iterations of their drawings.
In a world where small inconsistencies in drawings could lead you to lose out on a patent permanently, the services provided by professional patent illustrators could not be more important. Every aspiring design patent applicant must partner with high-quality patent illustrators to increase their chances of receiving protection for their inventions.