Yesterday, we looked at trends in the medical device industry. Today’s article pertains to Industrial Design, which was limited to design patent protection. The term of a design patent is 15 years from filing in contrast with 20 years from issuance for utility patents that are the subject of the 11 other industry areas of this study. Submarine patents are still possible in the design area. Unlike utility applications, nearly all design patents are allowed with a 99% success rate in recent years. This near perfect yield for filings coupled with costs that are about 10% of a utility patent with no maintenance fees contributes to the wild popularity of design patent protection. Our study not only identified a set of applications that pertained to this industry, but also—for each application in this set—we determined whether the application pertained to one or more of the categories shown in the topology below. If so, the application was appropriately tagged, such that it could be included in one or more category-specific data subsets for subsequent analysis.

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