I filed a US design patent,

how long do I have to file a Utility Patent in the US?

How long do I have to file a design patent in the EU?

If I am already selling the product can I file a EU patent?

  • Not all design applications disclose the actual invention so don't necessarily constitute prior art for a utility application.
    – Eric S
    Jul 26, 2020 at 16:05

1 Answer 1


As mentioned in a comment, the design application may or may not disclose enough to be a factor in a utility patent at all. It is infrequent that a design application will show the information needed to qualify as "enabled prior art". Assuming it does not it puts no limit on the time to file a utility application in the U.S., EPO or anywhere else.

To your next item, the EU/EPO does not have design patents. There is something called Community Design Registration that is available. Under the Paris Convention you have 6 months from filing the design application in the U.S. to file an design everywhere else. This assumes you have not disclosed the design before the U.S. filing. If you have sold the item, for example, with in year before the U.S. filing, the U.S. grace period saves you there but for Europe and most other places you are sunk forever.

The last item "If I am already selling the product can I file a EU patent? "

No, the EU requires strict novelty before filing. That is unless you filed (a utility application) elsewhere before you started shipping and it has been less than a year since that filing.

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