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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

Hi, I’m J.D. Houvener, your host for the Bold Today Show, where you, the inventor, entrepreneur, or business owner, get your daily dose of inspiration to make the world a better place. We’re here in the maker space today, and behind me is an autoclave, a pretty cool thing, right? Autoclave, but what does that mean? Well, it’s actually a place where you put composite, that’s carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, and you can make very, very solid designs. This is actually got 30 layers of carbon fiber mixed together with a resin. This machine combines pressure, temperature, and pressure from inside to externally extract all the oxygen and interstitials from the layers to form this really solid, lightweight construction. It’s actually the same material they use for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

So today, we’re going to be kicking off an entire week talking about springtime and rainy weather. Last week, I want to just make sure we touch base about what I talked about last week, which is all about the USPTO and policy. This is gonna be a look ahead because I talked about last week. Here, we’re gonna be looking at design patents. We discussed briefly The Hague agreement, which is an international protection for designs that are filed in other countries or in the US that seek international protection. So this is a week dedicated to design patents and specifically about rainy weather and all those different obstacles we think about and have to deal with when everything gets wet or hails on us or has sleet or whatever the weather comes in and blows around this time of year.

Your challenge of the day today is to think about design all around you, think about the day-to-day devices that you use on the way to work, while you’re working, when you get home, play with your kids, even when you go to sleep. One of the things you rely on to get things done. But don’t stop there. What is one of the different dimensions and the ornamentation of those devices, thinking about how those could be protected under design patents?

All right, we’re gonna kick off this week all about rain and wind and hail and everything else that’s going on in this mixed-up time of year we call spring. The first subject matter is windshield wipers. We’re going to talk about windshield wipers protected under design patents. We’ve got our first example up here; you can see it’s got a pretty familiar look. It’s got the arc, a very familiar arc where the wiper blade touches the windshield, but it’s got this unique middle section where it seems to separate out the two different pieces.

Design patents have a very important feature that they show all the different curves in the drawings themselves. So, you can take a close look here, and you’ll see the line drawings where the blade curves in the middle, and that is specifically put in there so that you know when the plane is going from horizontal to flat and in that transition period. With design patents, it’s important to understand that there’s no specification. We’ve looked at a lot of patents in this show that have long claims and talked about the written description of what in the heck this thing is all about. Design patents don’t have any of that; they just have the visual representation of what the invention is. And if we look back on the first page of this application or this patent, rather, it has just one claim: it’s a windshield wiper as shown and described. And the description is just merely that figure description saying that it’s an isometric angle or that it’s a top view or bottom view. That’s it. It’s a very specific embodiment, a much more narrow version of what those rights are.

So, as we endeavor in this session of the Rainey view of the Rainey equipment and devices that we get through life within this season, we’re gonna have lots of fun. If you have questions about design patents or patents in general and you’re just getting started, please give us a call.

About the Author
J.D. Houvener is a Registered USPTO Patent Attorney who has a strong interest in helping entrepreneurs and businesses thrive. J.D. leverages his technical background in engineering and experience in the aerospace industry to provide businesses with a unique perspective on their patent needs. He works with clients who are serious about investing in their intellectual assets and provides counsel on how to capitalize their patents in the market. If you have any questions regarding this article or patents in general, consider contacting J.D. at