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July 12, 2023
John Rizvi, Esq.

Do I Need to Have a Patent Search for a Design Patent?

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Do I need to do a patent search for a design patent?

So that's—it's an interesting question because it brings up the relative cost of patents. And I'll kind of go into those. Design patents, so for Kevin it would be the idea for the backboard—if you want it to protect the look of this backboard, design patents are about, you know, a fourth of the cost of utility patents. So you don't really need to do a search. That search is basically—a search for a patent attorney is like an x-ray for a doctor. Like, the search tells us how crowded the field is, and how likely it is for somebody else to have already gotten protection, which means there's no room for you to go forward. So for design patents, it's not as important to do a search depending on the uniqueness of your design, because the search, the cost of a search could be—they typically are about $1,500. It could be more for software, could be less if it's an extremely simple product, and it's a very clear field, but it’s unique enough, then you may proceed without a search. Going back to Kevin's example, I would venture to guess that a backboard like this is fairly unique. Because what happens if the basketball, like, it's right here, like, I don't know, goes right through. So something like that I feel comfortable with skipping a search, but it's rare.

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