Design Patent Complaints SKYROCKETING on Amazon Due to Minimal Design Changes from Sellers

When it comes to U.S. patent law and patent law around the world, here are the basics.

There are design patents and there are utility patents.

A utility patent is how a product functions. It’s like a new invention, where a design patent is how our product looks, how many zippers, how many pockets and that sort of thing. A prime example has always been diaper bags, where if you add an extra compartment, you add a zip or you add a floor to it, you change the straps and somehow you try and change the design enough so that you are not violating the pre-existing design patent.

The increase in the number of design patent complaints doesn’t mean there are more violations. It just means that the patent owners are becoming more aggressive against Amazon sellers.

So here is the takeaway. If you are taking an existing product and improving it, make sure you are improving it enough so that your design is significantly different and better than the prior design. If you do this successfully, then you can beat a design patent complaint. If your change is minimal, then maybe you have a problem. When it comes to design patent complaints, whether the complaint is valid or the complaint is frivolous, the goal is the same. Get it retracted. Get that complaint off of your account and get back to selling products.

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