Intellectual PropertyPatents

Patent vs Design: What’s the Difference?

Both patent and design rights may help protect your innovative ideas and products. This article will explain the distinction between a patent and a design and how they complement one another. Let us see in this article what is patent vs design and learn what’s the difference.

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Patents are the exclusive rights to a brand-new and innovative invention that the patentee creates. The practice of filing a patent for a new invention is quite common. Inventions may range from new devices, substances, methods, or processes of performing a task. Patent rights will grant you, the patent holder, exclusive rights to your invention. By securing the commercial rights to your invention, you are able to use and exploit it as you wish for the duration of the patent period.

What Is Design?

The process of designing a product is to protect its aesthetic appearance. The visual appearance should be distinct and include shape, configuration, patterning, ornamentation, and colour. 

To ensure that design rights protect the appearance of a product, the product in question must:

  • An actual and tangible product, not an idea or concept
  • Whether it be manufactured or handcrafted
  • That is produced on a large scale.

Due to the fact that design rights only protect the aesthetic appearance of a product or item, they do not encompass brand names and logos. A trademark is necessary if you wish to protect your brand name or logo design. 

Patent vs Design: What’s the Difference?

Both patents and design rights are rights that offer protection, but they protect very different aspects of a new invention. The following describes how patents differ from design rights.

Different forms of protection:

There is a significant difference between what a patent will provide and how design rights will. A patent protects a device’s function, method, or method of operation. In contrast, a design protects its appearance. A patent protects ideas and concepts, whereas a registered design protects the appearance of a product or item. It is interesting to note that you can register both patents and designs for the same item. Therefore, patents and designs may offer protection for different features of the same product.


The difference in the registration process:

It can also take a considerable amount of time to register your patent to design. In order to register a patent, you must meet certain requirements. Due to the lengthy process involved in registering a patent, the registration period for patents can also be substantially longer (at times, years) than for designs (usually months).

The difference in registration cost:

It is generally much less expensive to register a design than registering a patent. There is a large reason for the difference in application costs resulting from the highly demanding nature of the patent application. Since patent applications require extensive preparation and detailed specifications, their application can take a significant amount of time and may be more costly than a design application. Moreover, in order to maintain your patent’s enforceability, you must pay annual renewal fees. In contrast, the renewal fee for design rights only needs to be paid once, five years after the date the design application was filed.

The difference in protection period:

Patent and design registrations do not offer an infinite period of protection. In general, since design rights are subject to a lower registration cost than patent registration, their term of protection is significantly shorter than that of registered patents.

After the date on which an application for registration of a design right is filed, the maximum protection period is ten years. On the other hand, a registered patent may be protected for a maximum of 20 years. Additionally, the maximum protection period for a patent registered for a ‘pharmaceutical substance’ is 25 years.

Concluding Thoughts

It’s a bright idea to protect your innovative work if you’ve created a new, novel item. To ensure all your protection needs are met, it’s imperative to consult an IP expert whether you’re thinking of registering a patent or design right. Vakilsearch will better serve your thoughts with your help. Patents and design rights both protect different kinds of intellectual property and are associated with different costs, processes, and protection periods.

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