The arrangement of a design patent application is as follows:
- Design application transmittal form – This form is actually optional if you use an application data sheet. It mostly exists for the convenience of the USPTO so that you don’t forget to file something.
- Fee transmittal form – This form is required if you are filing on paper, but it is automatically created if you file online.
- Application data sheet – This form can either be filled out and uploaded or automatically populated if you file online.
- Specification – More on this below.
- Drawings or photographs,
- Inventor’s oath or declaration.
- Power of attorney – While not required, it’s good to file this if you have a registered patent attorney representing you.
The specification document should include the following sections in the order shown below:
- Preamble, which states the applicant’s name, the title of the design, and a description of the nature and intended use of the article in which the design is embodied.
- Cross-reference to related applications (this information may instead be included in the application data sheet).
- Statement regarding federally sponsored research and/or development.
- Description of the figure(s) in the drawing.
- Feature description.
- A single patent claim.
In addition, the specification may also include the following information:
- A description of the appearance of any portion(s) of the claimed design which are not illustrated in the drawings or photographs.
- A description which disclaims portions of the article not shown in the drawings or photographs which form no part of the claimed design.
- Statement indicating the purpose of broken lines in the drawing, such as environmental structures or boundaries that are not part of the claimed design. This commonly comes up when you are showing how your design is used with external material that has nothing to do with your design itself.
- Description indicating the nature and intended use of the claimed design, if not included in the preamble (per 37 CFR 1.154 and MPEP § 1503.01, subsection I).
- A ‘characteristic features’ statement which describes particular aspects of the design that the applicant considers to be features of novelty or non-obviousness when compared to the prior art. This is not restrictive, but it does help the examiner know what to look for when making a search in a crowded art area.