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Design Patents

Intellectual property: protecting your inventions and ideas--part 1 of 3

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Design patents are the most common because they protect the way something looks as opposed to the way it operates. For example, if you designed a tissue-box holder that looks like a volcano, you may be able to get a design patent (you don't claim to have invented tissue-box holders, just the look of the tissue-box holder you designed).

Excerpted from Starting a Home-based Business