Mission: Design Defense

Mission: Design Defense
[Illustration by Neil Stevens]

Formerly a little-used tool, the design patent covers the territory between a utility patent and a trademark–something like a copyright for decoration. (Apple v. Samsung is a recent high-profile design patent case.) But filing one is tricky: The patented design must be both unique and distinctive. In honor of fashion week, some recent successes, as described in their patents:

Stella McCartney

“Handbag with chain trim”

Bottega Veneta



“Tank top”

Christian Dior


Alexander Wang

“Stud with circular channels”TM