Design Patents vs Utility Patents

A “utility patent” protects the way an article is used and works (35 U.S.C. 101)

A “design patent” protects the way an article looks (35 U.S.C. 171).

Both design and utility patents may be obtained on an article if invention resides both in the utility and ornamental appearance of the invention.

Utility and design patents afford legally separate protection, the utility and ornamentality of an article are not easily separable.

Articles of manufacture may possess both functional and ornamental characteristics.

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