I want to apply for a regular patent of a simple static mechanical device (no moving parts). It's design is dictated mostly by its functionality. Most changes to the physical appearance of the device will annihilate it's functionality. I want to apply via PCT in several countries, most important of them - US and China. I plan to submit a provisional patent application first.
As a complementary measure, to secure some basic IP protection fast, I would like to simultaneously apply for utility and/or design patent. My question is - which of them should I choose in my case(/or maybe both)? I.e.:
- which of them is faster/easier/cheaper to obtain and maintain?
- can a provisional patent application secure priority right for utility patent and design patent the same way it does for regular patent? And if not - may I loose the right to obtain one of them by a public disclosure with a PPA only?
- what constitutes infringement of a design pattern? E.g. simple scaling of the size is probably an infringement of both - utility and design patent, however if somebody changes proportions of my device by making it longer than the original and it still will function in the same way - it is probably infringement of utility patent but no longer of the design patent - correct? And if it is still not an infringement of design patent - how substantial a deviation from the original design should be to constitute an infringement?
- is there any advantage to maintain them once a regular patent is granted?