Claim in a Design Patent Application

Design Patent, in general terms, consists of the visual ornamental characteristics embodied in any product. Since a design is manifested in its ornamental features, the protection sought in case of a design patent application may be applied to the configuration and ornamental features of the design.

Like a utility patent application, the design patent application also must include a claim. In fact, a US design patent application may only have a single claim (37 CFR § 1.153). That is, for design patents, only one claim is permitted; as, typically, more than one claim is not required to describe the features of the design.

The claim in a design patent application defines the design features of any product which applicant wishes to protect. Typically, the claim is written in the form “The ornamental design for (the article which embodies the design or to which it is applied) as shown.” It is, generally, also required that the description about the product as in the claim should be consistent in terminology with the title of the patent application.

As per the USPTO guidelines, “the claim ends with “as shown” when the specification only describes the direction of view of each drawing figure. The claim ends with “as shown and described” when there is a proper or special descriptive statement of the design in the specification or a showing of a modified form of the design, or there is other descriptive matter”.

Further, likewise utility patent application, a single design patent application may only cover one product, or particularly a novel design feature of the product. That is, designs that are independent and distinct shall be filed as separate design patent applications. For example, a pair of eyeglasses and a door handle are independent articles and must be claimed in separate applications.

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