Q: Does a patent done in the US cover all parts of the world? Does the patent for wighat D814149 extend outside the US?

I want to know if a patent done in the US protects the design in other parts of the world.

What happens if someone else outside of the US also has same idea? Can they go on and bring their idea to life if they're in another part of the world, say West Africa?

1 Lawyer Answer
Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn
  • Patents Lawyer
  • Chapel Hill, NC

A: A patent only applies in the country or regional group that issued the patent. A patent applies to things made in that country and to things brought into that country. If a product is created outside the US and never enters the US, then a US patent is not relevant.

Many companies will seek patent protection in multiple places so there may be a duplicate patent somewhere else that would impact you but the US patent would not.

As the relevant US patent is a design patent, (rather than the more common utility patent), then that is normally pretty narrow coverage to keep someone from selling a product that looks confusingly similar to the patented design.

Even if there is a corresponding patent in your country, you may be able to sell a product that has all the same features but does not have the set of distinctive design elements. A patent attorney looking at the cited prior art can help you identify the ornamental features to avoid. See https://www.flynniplaw.com/services/legal-services/united-states-design-patents for more introductory material on design patents.

If you found this answer helpful, you may want to look at my answers to other questions about patent law are available at the bottom of my profile page at https://lawyers.justia.com/lawyer/kevin-e-flynn-880338

Kevin E Flynn

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