How do you get more depth from a design patent?
Design patents, they cover how a product looks. And so if you get into an infringement situation, then the argument is going to be well, does the accused product look like what’s shown in the figures of the design patent? So for design patents, the figures are everything. You’re basically saying, I claim what you see when you look at these figures. So a lot of times the designs have particular shapes. And to show a three-dimensional thing on a two-dimensional surface, you use special shading and we take a three dimensional digital model of the three-dimensional shape and use specialized software to convert it to grayscale in the stippled form that’s acceptable to the patent office.
And then the other thing that we do in a lot of our design patents to cover sort of different ranges of depth, different claims scale, we include an appendix where we portray the product in three or four or five different ways. Sometimes we’ll have one version that’s grayscale images. One way of illustrating it using stippled images. Or another type of way that you can show grayscale is what’s called halftone. Or we’ll have line drawings where some of the elements or many of the elements are dashed out, made with dashed lines instead of solid lines.
And those different ways of illustrating a product will result in different claims scope. Because of the claim of a design patent basically says, I claim what you see when you look at the figures.