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Design applications can be filed for international protection as a HAGUE application. To file a
HAGUE Design patent it must be filed within 6 months of filing your application in the US. The cost for each country is different, but an estimate can be made when the countries are identified/ designated.
Design patents cover the look or appearance of a product. The total cost to obtain this type of patent is $2,500 to $3,500 for small entity filing. It normally takes about 60 days have the application “Patent Pending”. This type of patent usually takes 9 to 18 months to issue. The current micro-entity filing fee for this type of application is $255. Design patents are valid for 15 years from the date of issue and do not have any maintenance fees.
In general terms, a “utility patent” protects the way an article is used and works (35 U.S.C. 101), while a “design patent” protects the way an article looks (35 U.S.C. 171). The ornamental appearance for an article includes its shape/configuration or surface ornamentation upon the article, or both. Both design and utility patents may be obtained on an article of invention resides both in its utility and ornamental appearance. While utility and design patents afford legally separate protection, the utility and ornamental design of an article may not be easily separable. An invention may have a blend of functional aspect and ornamental design.
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