Why would one cite another patent, specifically when applying for a design patent (non utility)?

I have seen design patents that have been cited by other patents. But also design patents that cite other patents:

Example of a design patent that has citations:



1 Answer 1


For the identical reason patents and other references are cited in utility applications. Design patents are searched and examined by patent examiners. What they turn up in the search ends up cited at the beginning of a granted patent. Also, the applicant is required to notify the examiner (on an IDS form) of everything they know of that might be relevant to the examination. Those references get cited at the beginning of a patent publication.

Design patents really are subject to the requirements of novelty and non-obviousness that utility patents are. The relevant sections 35 USC 102 and 103 make no distinction between the three types of US patents.

  • So say I have discovered some utility or design patents that may have a similar but not exactly same design, would those be considered relevant to the examination? Thanks!
    – Jeff
    Feb 17, 2018 at 7:36
  • @Jeff if in doud, disclose it
    – user18033
    Feb 17, 2018 at 16:46
  • Definitely disclose
    – George White
    Feb 19, 2018 at 20:56

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