Whether you need a design patent or a utility patent, the process can be a long an expensive one. It often takes well over a year for the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to approve patent.
As you consider what type of protection your idea needs, do not forget that there are instances where a concept needs both a design and a utility patent. While a second patent would add to the expense, having the protection on both the design and function of your product can be beneficial.
Here’s what you need to know about getting two patents for your product.
What makes my idea unique?
You may have already considered all the benefits your new product will add to the marketplace. Now that it is time to file for a patent, you should think about what makes your product different from the competition.
As you consider your product, think about both what it does and how it looks. If both aspects of your product are unique, you should consider both types of patents.
Will it take twice as long?
The processes can run simultaneously, although they may not reach the approval phase at the same time.
Can I still get provisional protection?
While filing either a design or utility patent gives you the ability to label your product as “patent pending,” only utility patents have a “provisional” option.
If you decide you need both utility and design protection for your product, you can still file a provisional application for the utility portion, but your provisional utility patent application will not protect the design of your product.