Posted by Mr. Q at 6:00 AM Thursday, March 7, 2013
Right, you had a question. As for your last question -- the distinction between utility and design patents -- we talked about this in a recent post. Basically, if you're trying to protect something functional (like the massaging book bag on the left), seek a utility patent. If you're trying to protect appearances, like this combo vest/book bag, seek a design patent.
What forms are needed? Filing for a patent requires more than filling out forms and in most cases -- particularly for utility patents -- requires the assistance of an attorney. You can read more about design patents here, and more about utility patents here. You can find patent forms at the USPTO website.
The fees. An applicant for a utility or design patent pays some fees when filing, others during the examination process, and more when the patent issues. If you are filing a provisional patent application and you qualify as a small entity, there is a one-time fee of $125 (soon to be $130) and if you qualify as a micro-entity after March 19, the one-time fee is $65. You can find more patent fees at the USPTO website.