Not sure whether a utility or design patent application is right for your product? The team at Larson and Larson, P.A. in Tampa can help you decide. Read on to find out whether your item qualifies as a design.

Utility vs. Design Patent Applications

When people in Tampa talk about a patent application, most commonly they refer to utility patent applications. Utility patents protect the function of an invention but do not cover the look or outward appearance. The non-functional parts of a product are protected with a design application. Here are some major differences when it comes to the two types:


  • Protects the functionality of a new and original process, composition of matter, machine, or manufacturing process
  • Requires an in-depth application process that includes drawings, detailed written description of the invention, how it functions, how it will be used, etc.
  • Valid for twenty years after the application filing date
  • May require maintenance fees
  • Most common type of protection
  • Higher rejection rate


  • Protects a new and original design of a product
  • Requires a less complicated application and drawings
  • Valid for fourteen years after the application filing date
  • Maintenance fees not required in most cases
  • Lower rejection rate

The design patent application process is less complicated because the look of an invention is not as complex to describe and protect the function or composition. Contact an intellectual property lawyer in Tampa for assistance with the application process.

Examples of Articles Protectable by Design Patent Application

With certain products, only the design can be protected because the invention has been around for ages. Take for instance a pair of sunglasses. The function is not new and original, but a new innovative design for a pair of shades can be protected.

Items that gain their value from their unique outward appearance will greatly benefit from this type of protection. This way, you will make sure that fraudulent copies of your item do not receive the profits that belong to you.

Call Larson and Larson to Protect your Design Today!

If the look of your product is connected to its value, a design patent application is right for you. The attorneys at Larson and Larson in Tampa can help you create the necessary research, drawings, and take you through the application process from start to finish. Give us a call at 727-546-0660 or contact us today to discuss your product and get the process rolling.