I have a new invention that it will help a coffee machine to be more hygienic and more practical. I am confused and I don't know whether this is a design patent or utility patent.

1 Answer 1


A design patent covers the visual impression of a product while a utility patent covers the structure and functioning of a product. If you have something new and not obvious that provides a functional benefit, that would be a utility patent application.

  • Actually I have added a section to one of the parts. So it can be seen and it also adds benefits. Will that still be utility? Jan 27, 2014 at 20:27
  • Using a coffe bean grinder as an example, the way a new model grinds beans might be what makes it special or it could be ordinary in how it works but have a very unique stylish appearance. It could both be unique in its functional structure and its appearance. A unity paten keeps people from making something that works the same as yours, but it could look like yours. A design patent keeps someone from making something that looks like yours regardless of how it works. Nike, Apple and many other companies apply for both types of patents on the same product.
    – George White
    Jan 27, 2014 at 20:34

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