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If I wanted to produce sticky fore-arm straps that wrap around the fore-arms for competitors to use in the worlds-strongest-man competition to get a better grip when they pick up big circular stones (think wrapping duct tape around fore arms). The tape-like wraps would be rubber on the outside to give a better grip so the rocks do not slide away from their forearms when they pick them up. We can assume something like this does not exist.

  1. For an invention like this, do I need a design patent, utility patent, or both?

    I would not be creating any new materials. It would be essentially sticky rubber tape - the big differentiator would be the shape of the tape and where it would be placed on the forearm - think uniquely shaped duct-tape-like stickers that are meant to be placed on specific locations of the forearm.

  2. If I need a design patent - how many different design patents should I file to make sure no one can produce something similar to my idea? i.e. different design patents with different shapes and sizes of the forearm grips? Or how do I make sure no one can produce something similar?

  3. If I create a design template do I need to list the exact material of the sticky rubber? Do I need to list exactly what the sticky material that sticks to the forearm is?

  4. Should I do a drawing or take pictures of something like this when filing for the patent?

This is my getting started post and I have absolutely no experience with patents, so feel free to give any other advice to a question I am not asking.

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1 Answer 1

Optimal protection for your idea would be to file both a utility and design patent.The utility patent protects the functional aspect of your invention- getting a better grip when a person picks up big circular stones (think wrapping duct tape around fore arms). It also provides broader patent protection against patent infringement should a competitor try to make a variant. (Your utility should cover numerous embodiments). In contrast, design patents do not protect the functional features of the invention- they protect the appearance of the invention-i.e., the ornamental design- which in your case is the shape of the tape. Since your invention has a unique structure/function coupled with a unique ornamental design, then you should consider filing both a utility patent application and a design patent application.

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