The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has strict requirements regarding patent applications for good reasons. Patents, after all, grant their inventors and/or owners the exclusive right to make, use and sell the products and/or processes covered. The USPTO are then extremely careful in granting patents and, in the process, can reject applications based on the smallest detail.
The bottom line: You have to start on the right foot when preparing your design patent application. You should ideally hire an experienced patent lawyer for this purpose. You must, however, still be on top of things, so to speak, by learning the basics including the ones discussed below.
Submitting the Right Documents
The USPTO provides two options for filing design patents: first, via paper application; and second, through its website (online). If you’re filing via the first option, you have to send the application documents by Express Mail. If you’re using the second option, you must convert these documents including the application and drawings to PDF format; there are electronic forms available on the USPTO website.
In both cases, you have to submit certain documents including:
Be sure to read and understand every line of these documents as a precautionary measure. You don’t want your patent application returned or rejected due to a clerical error, among other possible mistakes. You also want to increase the chances of your request patent being granted, not to mention that the USPTO generally doesn’t give refunds even for rejected applications.
Getting the Entries Right
Due to the complexity of the documents, especially the drawings, you should seriously consider hiring experts including a patent lawyer and a graphic designer. You will still retain ownership over the patent once it’s granted obviously.
For the specifications document, here are a few things to get you started:
You can be descriptive with your invention description in the Feature Description field but avoid using flowery words, exaggerations and the like.
For the drawings, keep in mind that the USPTO prefers technical and stylized drawings of inventions. Every element, from stippling and linear shading to using colors and patterns, has a specific meaning so be careful about submitting haphazard drawings. While you can initially submit informal drawings, you will still be required to provide formal drawings by the USPTO examiner before your application can be acted on.
As the patent application is quite professional, we suggest hiring an experienced patent attorney for individuals and organizations.