The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) celebrates a significant milestone by issuing its one-millionth design patent to Agustina Huckaby. Discover the importance of design patents and how they protect innovation and drive economic growth.
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Issues 1 Millionth Design Patent
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) reached a significant milestone in American innovation and creativity on Tuesday, September 26, 2023, by officially issuing their one millionth U.S. design patent. This patent, numbered as design patent one million, was granted to Agustina Huckaby, a licensed cosmetologist from Fort Worth, Texas, for the ornamental design of a dispensing comb.
Design patents are crucial for protecting the unique appearance of a product or its packaging, as opposed to how it functions, which utility patents cover. This distinction is vital for small businesses, as it helps them secure funding and thrive in a competitive marketplace.
"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 through design patents."
The USPTO has seen a significant increase in applications for design patent protection in recent years. Last year alone, they received over 50,000 applications, marking a 20% increase over the past five years. This surge in demand highlights the ingenuity and creativity of inventors worldwide.
This milestone, design patent 1 million, comes 181 years after the first design patent was granted in the United States to printer George Bruce for a new typeface in 1842. Over the years, design patents have safeguarded iconic products like Harley Davidson motorcycles, Eames chairs, and even beloved characters such as Star Wars R2D2 and Yoda.
Intellectual Property Consulting (IPC) assists clients with applications for design patents and enforcement of design patents. With our deep knowledge and experience in design patent work, we helped entrepreneurs navigate the complex landscape of intellectual property protection. IPC offers guidance and support throughout the patent application process, ensuring businesses can safeguard their unique designs and foster growth.
Contact IPC today for a consultation!