Speeding-Up Design Patents

Design patents are cheap and usually involve little prosecution. In a recent report at "Design Day", the USPTO noted that the agency is working to further shrink the timeline. Notably, the average number of days from payment of the issue fee to issuance of the patent has shrunk by 2/3 since 2006. In FY2009 (thus far), the delay averages 52 days while in FY 2006, the delay averaged 140+ days. The average pendency is about 16 months. Applications in the "rocket docket" issue within 6 months on average.


4 thoughts on “Speeding-Up Design Patents

  1. 4

    design patents should be a registration system and not an examination system, much like their kindred spirit, copyrights.

  2. 3

    I generally do not because the cost of a search approaches the cost of the application, and because, assuming you have a legitmate designer as your client, new designs generally don’t look like the prior art. For the latter reason, as pointed out by Dude, 103 rejections are very rare in design applications.

  3. 2

    Does anyone conduct prior art searches before filing design patent applications?

  4. 1

    It would be interesting to review the content of the “little prosecution” that you mention. I would dare say that a large percentage involve no prior art rejections but are most likely 112 1st and 2nd rejections based on bad drawings filed by applicant.

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