If it is determined that your invention will most likely not qualify for utility patent protection, or your invention lies in a new artistic design for an old device, you might consider filing for design protection. A design patent protects the ornamental features of a device and therefore only covers the way the invention looks. A design application includes drawings, a description of the drawings and a single claim. Unlike a utility patent which provides protection based on the words used in the claims, the protection offered by a design patent is limited to that found in the drawings.
As with a utility application, if you would like to proceed with a utility patent application, you will notify my office and drawings will be prepared for your design application. The flat fee for the design application includes the cost of the drawings and all office actions required. I will write the design patent application, send it to you for your signature and file it with the Patent Office along with the government filing fee furnished by you. Once filed, you will be patent pending.
Once a design patent is allowed and issued, it is valid for 14 years from the date of issuance and no maintenance fees are charged for design patents.