Design Patent Published Today

Another Design Patent Issued This Week

We love patent day because it is always fun to see another patent issue.  This one, a design patent, for another license plate frame is published on March 7, 2017.

US Patent #D780,651

The new design patent covers a License Plate Frame also known around here as Jeep.  It features some of the look and style queues of the ever famous Jeep Renegade.  Something that makes a lot of people smile.

If you look at the actual patent, it does not show the "Jeep" name because words in general, and especially registered insignia are not encouraged for patent images.  Not the right thing if you want the design patent to issue easily.  However, the real frame has the licensed Jeep logo, so that is what appears here.  Much more fun to see the real thing.

Design Patent For Jeep Frame

If you like Jeeps, or if you have a friend that likes Jeep, license plate frames make great gifts.  Contact Cruiser to get one.  It does not appear (as of this writing) to be on their website yet.  That will change soon, I think.  Anyway, there are many other great license plate frames to choose from even if you don't fancy this Jeep frame.

Why A Design Patent?

Patents are a tool for protecting ideas - ideas we call intellectual property.  Some ideas are functional where it does not matter so much what it looks like, but rather, how it works.  "Utility Patents" cover these functional ideas.  On the other hand, some ideas are artistic in nature - like this license plate frame.  The function of the frame is generic, but what it looks like, or the design, is the actual intellectual property.  A "Design Patent" is a tool for protecting the look, and it is intended to keep others from making a direct copy.

You can think of a design patent as a visual or art patent.  A lot like a trademark for a logo, but physical instead of print.  I know, it can get confusing fast.

In this particular case, the "Jeep" insignia is not used in the design patent because "Jeep" is also intellectual property.  It is a registered trademark used under license for this frame.  Having the logo in, as part of the design patent drawings would create conflict in the IP, so it is excluded from the patent drawings.

To read more, visit this page about patents and this page about when to patent.  Then, there is the list of patents we have opportunity to work with.  (While we helped with the work, in some cases did all the work, most of the patents are actually owned by our customers.)  Then, for even more information do a search on the difference between design patents and trademarks.

Components of the Jeep Frame Design

Nothing Is As Simple As It Seems

Achieving the fun design shown in the frame images is not as simple as it looks.  As in the image, there are several pieces that must come together.  These pieces are different materials and must match perfectly.  But it is more than just how it looks.  The frame has legal ramifications with covering just the edges of the license plate, and must accommodate all the various license plate sizes and configurations.

Did you know that license plate sizes are different from state to state around the country?  (They are, though only by small amounts.  How do I know that?  We have at least one from every state in a very cool collection.)

Finally, there are a ton of manufacturing considerations.  Read more in this Case Study about creating frames from art.

In the end, we love the compliment when people say "That is so simple, what took you so long?"  It is rewarding to know that we found a blend of all the considerations, pulled it all together in a way that the artist is happy, manufacturing is happy, the law is happy, and the final customer likes the product.

More artistic 3D CAD examples and more new Design Patents are available to view here on the website if you are interested.  Thanks for visiting.

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