Design patents and trademarks are two different types of intellectual property rights. Although there are differences in the protection objects of the two, there is also some overlap. Design patents protect the appearance of a product, including the overall or partial shape, pattern, or combination thereof, as well as the combination of color, shape, and pattern. Trademarks protect graphic identities, which are mainly composed of graphics, text, colors, symbols, and other elements. Since both of them can protect patterns and are managed by different departments, having different examination principles, design patent rights and trademark rights may have conflicts. 1.
Principles of examination of designs and trademarks
Patents and trademarks are managed by different departments of China National Intellectual Property Administration. Patents are managed by the Patent Office, while trademarks are managed by the Trademark Office. In the process of being granted a patent right, the design application undergoes formal examination only, it will be granted after a preliminary examination and if in conformity with the granting conditions. The trademark authorization process is more stringent, it undergoes formal examination, substantive examination, and registration announcement. Read more