DeviceLab, a contract medical device design and medical product development company, was recently awarded four medical product design patents for a single product. The patent applications were submitted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in July, 2009, and the patents were awarded in July, 2011.
Dac Vu, President of DeviceLab, had this to say about the process and outcome: “Medical device patents are similar to building a fence around your property…they act as a barrier to those wanting to infringe upon your design and efforts. Without a patent, your idea is unprotected and once you bring your product to market, anyone can make a similar product or even the same product, and reap the benefits of your idea and labor.”
There are two types of patents: a design patent, which is a patent granted on the ornamental design of a functional item; and, a utility patent, which protects the way an invention is used and works. DeviceLab applied for, and was awarded, four design patents for a single medical device.
I asked Dac Vu why they chose to submit four patents for the same medical product and he commented, “In this case, the medical product was simple in design and a single design patent would not have kept someone from modifying the design and obtaining their own patent. As a result, we submitted one medical design patent showing the original design, and then 3 additional design patents with different configurations of the original design including a conical shape, a cylindrical shape, and a combination of cylindrical and conical. In this way, the product and three variations on the design were protected.”
DeviceLab is a contract medical device design and product development firm. They are a full service company for mechanical engineering, electronics, software, industrial design, prototyping, manufacturing, FDA regulatory consulting and product testing services. Experience includes User Interface (UI) Design, custom and cart development, medical device, industrial design, hospital equipment and lab instrument development. Based in Orange County, CA, they serve Southern California (San Diego, Orange, and Los Angeles Counties) and medical device firms nationwide.