Design Patents Attorney in Kansas City, Missouri

Design patents play a crucial role in protecting the visual qualities of a product, from the shape and ornamentation to the overall aesthetics. In an increasingly competitive market, this form of intellectual property allows inventors and designers to retain exclusive rights to their creations. 

As an experienced design patents attorney, Dale J. Ream can help you protect your designs.

With a deep understanding of design patent law and a commitment to personalized service, Dale J. Ream offers comprehensive support to inventors and companies looking to secure their intellectual property, from the design patent application process to enforcement and infringement defense. 

Located in Kansas City, Missouri, Attorney Dale J. Ream proudly serves clients throughout the Kansas City metro area, including Kansas, Johnson County, and Jackson County, Missouri.  

What Is a Design Patent?

Design patents are a specific kind of intellectual property protection that safeguard the unique visual aspects of a product. These aspects can include the product's shape, configuration, surface ornamentation, or a combination of these elements, as long as they are new, original, and not solely for practical purposes.  

In the United States, design patents grant inventors and designers exclusive rights to their visual designs and prevent others from making, using, selling, or importing items with the same or a substantially similar appearance for 15 years from the date of grant

This exclusivity is vital in a world where aesthetics can significantly influence consumer preference and market competition. By securing a design patent, creators and businesses can protect their investment in design innovation, enhancing brand identity and potentially increasing market share. 



What Types of Items Are Protected Under a Design Patent?

Design patents cover a wide range of items that demonstrate originality and creativity in their appearance. This extends to products across various industries, ensuring that the aesthetics and uniqueness that sets a product apart are legally protected. Some of the items that can commonly be protected under a design patent include: 

  • Consumer electronics: Including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and wearable technology, primarily the distinctive designs of these items, which combine functionality with aesthetic appeal. 

  • Furniture: Including the unique designs of chairs, tables, desks, and other furniture pieces that possess a special appearance. 

  • Apparel items: Including unique clothing pieces, footwear, and accessories, ranging from handbags to jewelry. 

  • Automotive designs: Including the distinct shape, contour, and ornamentation of vehicles, as well as specific automotive parts that emphasize automotive design. 

  • Graphical user interfaces: Including the visual appearance of user interfaces in software and apps, due to the increasing prevalence of digital products. 

  • Household items and appliances: Including innovative designs for kitchen gadgets, appliances, utensils, and other household items. 

  • Sporting goods: Including the unique designs of sports equipment and accessories that contribute to a product's brand identity. 

  • Lighting Fixtures: Including original designs of lighting fixtures, which add aesthetic value to interior and exterior spaces. 

  • Packaging: Including the distinctive appearance of packaging for various products that can help with brand differentiation and customer attraction. 

Design patents allow businesses and creatives in various fields to protect and capitalize on the unique visual attributes of their products. At Ream Law Firm, L.L.C., Dale J. Ream has the experience to help you determine whether your product is eligible for design patent protection. 

Benefits of Design Patents

Design patents offer a range of significant benefits for inventors, designers, and businesses. By protecting the unique visual aspects of a product, a design patent provides exclusive legal rights. Some of these rights include, but are not limited to: 

  • Prevent infringement: Grants the holder the exclusive right to make, use, sell, or import the design, while preventing others from using the design without permission. In cases of infringement, a design patent strengthens the legal position of the patent holder. 

  • Enhance market position: By safeguarding unique designs, companies can make sure their products stand out and maintain a competitive edge in the market. 

  • Increase product value: Products with patented designs often command higher prices due to their protected unique features and aesthetic appeal. 

  • Attract investment: A design patent signals to investors that a company values and protects its intellectual property, which can be critical for securing funding. 

  • Build brand identity: Protecting distinctive designs helps build a strong, recognizable brand identity, contributing to brand loyalty and consumer preference. 

  • Licensing opportunities: Owning a design patent allows for potential revenue through licensing agreements, opening new streams of income. 

By utilizing design patents effectively, businesses and creators can protect their intellectual prowess and leverage it as a strategic asset in their business model. Ream Law Firm, L.L.C. has the tools and experience to help you apply for a design patent for your business. 

How to Apply for a Design Patent

To apply for a design patent in Missouri, you will need to follow several steps to determine whether your invention or product fits the criteria of being new, original, and ornamental. The key steps in the application process include: 

  1. Research and preparation: Before applying, conduct a thorough search to make sure your design is new and original. 

  1. Detailed drawings: Create detailed drawings or photographs that accurately depict the visual design you seek to protect. These visuals must meet the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) standards. 

  1. Complete the application form: Fill out the application form provided by the USPTO. Detail your design and include the required drawings, photographs, any necessary documents, and the application fee. Fees vary depending on the nature of the application and the applicant (e.g., small entity, micro entity). 

  1. Submit your application: Once you've prepared and verified the required materials, submit your application to the USPTO. This can be done electronically via the USPTO’s website or by mail. 

After you submit your application, a USPTO examiner will review it to ensure it meets all the criteria for a design patent. The examiner may reach out to you for additional clarifications or adjustments. If the examiner determines that your design is eligible for patent protection, the USPTO will issue a patent for your design. 

For assistance at any stage of the application process, contact Dale J. Ream. His knowledge and experience can make sure your application complies with all the necessary legal requirements. 

How Can Ream Law Firm, L.L.C. Help?

Attorney Dale J. Ream brings over 25 years of experience as a registered patent attorney, assisting his clients through each step of the design patent process, from initial consultation to submitting a patent application. He offers various services for design patents including: 

  • Conducting patentability searches 

  • Preparing application documents 

  • Representing clients during USPTO examinations 

Ream Law Firm, L.L.C. offers a blend of legal acumen and technical understanding. With over fifteen years involved in product development, he has built valuable relationships that can assist inventors with engineering, prototyping, domestic and international manufacturing, and commercialization.


Design patents are critical tools for protecting the aesthetic elements of inventions and products. Attorney Dale J. Ream has the necessary experience to help inventors make sure their designs are effectively protected. If you are an inventor or business owner in the Kansas City metro area and are looking to protect your design innovations, contact Ream Law Firm, L.L.C. today to schedule a free consultation.