US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issues 1,000,000th US Design Patent

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The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued the 1 millionth US Design Patent. Design patent number 1,000,000 was granted to Agustina Huckaby, a licensed cosmetologist of Fort Worth, Texas, for the ornamental design for a dispensing comb.

Design patents protect what an invention or creative work looks like, its shape, coloration, and ornamental designs. Protecting the way something looks, as opposed to how it works (which is covered by a utility patent), is an important step to protect the innovation.

“Protecting their unique products can help entrepreneurs find funding and succeed in a competitive marketplace,” said Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. “Small businesses like Agustina’s have valuable intellectual property that they can protect and license – if they so choose – through design patents. From the original Coca-Cola bottle to the Statue of Liberty to the Medal of Honor and beyond, design patents protect iconic and unique designs, and help businesses grow and prosper.”

When asked why she needed a patent, Ms. Huckaby responded, “Being able to own that design and having something for my kids to look up to and pass on, that’s groundbreaking to me. “I want to keep growing, keep building, keep creating as much as I can.”

Design Patent Applications Increase

More inventors are applying for design patent protection than ever before. In 2022 the USPTO received over 50,000 applications for design patent protection. During the last 5 years, design patent applications have increased over 20%.

USPTO Creates Design Division

The USPTO with Congress, recently approved a re-organization package that elevates the Designs team within the Patents organization to its own division, with a new Deputy Commissioner for Designs.

181 Years of Design Patents

Design patent 1 million comes 181 years after printer George Bruce received the first design patent granted in the United States. He received patent 1 in 1842 for a new typeface. In the decades since, design patents have protected the unique appearance of products like Harley Davidson motorcycles and Eames chairs, as well as iconic characters such as Star Wars’ R2D2 and the image of Yoda.

Michael Priddy Patents Your Design

Michael Priddy handles the design patent application process from start to finish for corporations, small businesses, and individual inventors. He is a former patent examiner at the USPTO and has over 15 years of patent experience.

If you’d like to learn more about Michael’s patent process and discuss your invention, book a free no-obligation patent consultation or call his office at 720-383-4531.