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Design Patent: A Unique Tool for Design Protection

[ Vol. 14 , Issue. 1 ]


Rain Chen*   Pages 29 - 38 ( 10 )


Design patent is deemed as a superb competitive tool in the design industry. The author of this study delineates a co-opetition type of relationship of design patent with patent, trademark, and copyright to assist designers to construct a correct core concept of design patent quickly. The investigator proposed five key judgment factors based on infringement identification, and they are (1) literal infringement, (2) doctrine of equivalence, (3) points of novelty test, (4) prosecution history estoppel, and (5) prior art limitation. They can help designers clearly identify the legal right and scope of their design. Lastly, the author proposed three new competitive tools for a design patent, and they are (1) partial design patent, (2) computer-generated icons and graphic user interface, and (3) derivative design patent. Using these three new design patent tools will enable designers to effectively expand their design patent rights and maximize design benefits for their companies.


Design patent, partial design, computer generated icons, graphic user interface, derivative design.


Department of Visual Communication Design, Southern Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Tainan City, Taiwan

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