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Design Patents

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

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