As I look through patents, how do you tell if it is a utility patent or a design patent and are pending patents on the USPTO website...or just issued patents?

1 Answer 1


Utility patents have all numeric patent numbers (e.g., 8,561,134), whereas the patent numbers of design patents are prefixed with a 'D' (e.g., D696,021).

Both pending and issued patents are available for searching on the USPTO website. Subject to certain exceptions (e.g., the application was filed with a nonpublication rquest), nonprovisional utility and plant patent applications are generally published 18-months after the earliest priority date to which the application claims the benefit of priority.

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