The furniture each of us uses every day impacts our lives in ways most people probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about. Having unique furniture can make us more comfortable at home or on vacation, more productive at work and can even improve quality of life. If you have an idea for a furniture design or function that you don’t believe exists on the market currently, or if you are an entrepreneur in the furniture industry, you need to understand how patent protection can benefit you — and how you can go about securing that protection. Ultimately, you do not need to be an industry leader to pursue a furniture utility or design patent. Anyone, including individuals, can patent furniture if they have a new design or have an idea for furniture with innovative functionality. Typically, furniture innovations can be patented with design patents, which protect the aesthetics of a piece, or utility patents, which protect the function of a piece. The Furniture We Take for Granted Today Started as Innovative Designs Do you have a sleeper sofa at home for guests, or have you used one while traveling? What about a reclining armchair to put your feet up at the end of a long day? Does your desk chair swivel, making it easier (and more comfortable) to do the things you need to do at work? Each of these commonplace items started as someone’s idea for improving upon the furniture designs that existed at the time. Even the rocking chair, which has been a staple for many new parents and retirees for hundreds of years, was once an innovative design idea. We have these types of furniture today, as well as others created with uniquely aesthetic aspects or ergonomic functionality, because someone asked the question, “What if?” Patenting Your Furniture Can Provide Valuable Protection If you’ve designed a new piece of furniture or have come up with a way to improve upon an existing design, obtaining a patent can give you peace of mind to pursue creating and marketing your idea. It can also help protect your rights to income related to your design by making it illegal for others to profit off your design/idea unless you allow such use. Ultimately, a patent provides protection for inventors/designers, giving them the exclusive rights to use, sell or license their new creations. That protection lasts for up to 20 years, during which only the patent holder holds those rights. As long as it is possible to create your design, and what you’ve come up with is useful, non-obvious and novel, you can apply for patent protection. There are two types of patents you may want to consider for a new furniture idea: design patents and utility patents. Design Patents A furniture design patent addresses the appearance and non-functional aspects of your furniture design. To obtain a design patent for a new furniture idea would require you to show that your design is unique, and that the way it looks is worthy of patent protection. Utility Patents In contrast, a utility patent addresses the way a new piece of furniture would work. You still need to prove that your design is unique, useful and worthy of a utility patent, but a utility patent protects the functionality of your design. When you apply for a utility patent, you will need to submit patent drawings to help the examiner understand the invention or idea. If you decide to apply for a patent, Bold Patents can help you determine which option makes the most sense for your invention. Protect Your Furniture Ideas With the Help of Bold Patents Bold Patents provides a range of patent services designed to help inventors obtain patent protection for their ideas in a streamlined, cost-effective manner. Our experienced patent attorneys provide fully remote assistance to solo inventors, start-up companies and small businesses across the country. Our transparent pricing and clear, end-to-end assistance help inventors protect their creations with greater confidence. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary screening session with an advisor to learn more about the patent services we provide for furniture design ideas.