Can a design patent apply to watch hands?

Thread: Can a design patent apply to watch hands?

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  1. #1
    Member flawless51's Avatar
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    Can a design patent apply to watch hands?

    For those manufacturing watches (particularly dive watches), there are limited choices in hand set design. I see a lot of duplication when it comes to hands, and I was wondering if design patents can apply to them. Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
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    Re: Can a design patent apply to watch hands?

    Patent and trademark laws differ by country so you should consult an attorney in your country. My first thought is it would be difficult.

  3. #3
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    Re: Can a design patent apply to watch hands?

    Quote Originally Posted by flawless51 View Post
    For those manufacturing watches (particularly dive watches), there are limited choices in hand set design. I see a lot of duplication when it comes to hands, and I was wondering if design patents can apply to them. Any ideas?
    In US, design patent can only cover non-functional ornamental design. For example, if there is any functional aspect as to a particular design of the hand, it cannot be included as one of the elements for a design patent. I would say one can still get a design patent on some ornamental detail of a hand (e.g., some sort of pattern on the hand but probably not the tip since it is very difficult to argue that the tip of the hand is non-functional, a logo or pattern at the short end of the hand, etc.) However, the limitation of design patent as compared to trademark, trade dress, and copyright is that it will expire at the end of its term.

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    Member ev13wt's Avatar
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    Re: Can a design patent apply to watch hands?

    I have no idea how, I'd think it would have to be a unique approach? Either technically or design wise?

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    Member SKrishnan's Avatar
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    Re: Can a design patent apply to watch hands?

    In Australia patents apply to "innovation" rather than aesthetic design.

    Trademarks are used to cover things like the visual design of a watch. The basic requirement is that the design or aspects thereof must be unique to your business and will differentiate you from your competitors.




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    Moderator at Large stuffler,mike's Avatar
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    Re: Can a design patent apply to watch hands?

    At presemt I can't recall any patents on hands design.
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  8. #7
    Ball Watch, Bremont and Longines moderator samanator's Avatar
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    Re: Can a design patent apply to watch hands?

    As mentions either potentially a trademark or a copyright could protect it. Patents would not be applicable unless it is something above the general design, like say a new way of attaching to the movement.
    Michael
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  9. #8
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    Re: Can a design patent apply to watch hands?

    It would have to be a hand design that's both original and not obvious. That would be pretty hard to do unless you designed hands that were so out there that they would be impractical to use.

  10. #9
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    Re: Can a design patent apply to watch hands?

    I wonder how it would take for some knockoff to have "homage" hands. Then there some brands
    that have hands that seem exclusive to them, like Bedat.

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    Re: Can a design patent apply to watch hands?

    Quote Originally Posted by Watchbreath View Post
    I wonder how it would take for some knockoff to have "homage" hands. Then there some brands
    that have hands that seem exclusive to them, like Bedat.
    As Tsujigiri has pointed out, a patent must be both novel and non-obvious. With so many watches and clocks, and different hands for these watches and clocks, being made in the past, it's no surprising that it would be very difficult to get a design patent for watch hands. In addition, whatever design patents that have been filed for these watch hands would probably have expired already.

    With respect to Bedat, not that I know if they have, one reason for them to have the exclusive rights to the design of the hands, I suspect, would be that they have trademark/trade dress rights to those hands.

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