Trademark Resources

What’s the difference between a design patent and a utility patent?

A design patent protects the appearance of a product while a utility patent protects the product’s function. In other words, it is a “how it looks” versus “how it works” comparision. In addition, a utility patent can also protect a unique manufacturing process or chemical compound. An invention patent can sometimes be granted to protect both the unique design and the function, and the design does not influence the function.

China Trademark & Patent Law Office Limited (CTPLO)