The Difference between Utility Patents & Design Patents
A patent is a license issued by the government. The license states that the one with the patent is the only one allowed to sell the product. This license can apply to a specific technology, design, or to an entire product.
A utility patent applies to the function of a product.
Basically, this means what the product does, even if your product does not look the same as the patented invention, if it performs the same function or does the same thing, then it is considered to be infringing upon that patent. It is much more difficult to prove infringement with a design patent. Amazon’s neutral patent evaluation program is solely for utility patents.
A design patent covers how a product looks, the ornamental features.
It does not protect any functional aspects of the product. Design patents are only considered to be infringed upon if the design is too similar to the design of the patent. Essentially, if it causes consumer confusion. This meaning that a consumer who is familiar with what is called ‘prior art’ is unable to distinguish the difference between the products and chooses what product they are familiar with.
Whether it is pertaining to utility patents or design patents, if you are asserting a complaint for your patent on Amazon, you need to ensure that you are enforcing the correct intellectual property rights.