• Elaine Marie

Shining Light on IP Protection for Horse Products

Updated: Jan 27



Tail Lights is the worlds first LED lighting safety system for horses.


We’re covering the latest news of patent protection in pet products. 2019 has

only just begun, but there are already equine innovations that have received U.S.

design patent protection this year.


One newly minted patent is for an LED lighting safety system for horses involving

attachment of a set of strings of LED lights to a horse’s tail, developed in

California. The illumination device can be used to increase the visibility of the

horse if riding at night; in parades; or by officers on patrol. US Design Patent

838,024 issued on January 8, 2019 and protects the arrangement of the light

strings for the product, which is sold at www.tail-lights.com.

Another new design patent this year is one for gel lined horse boots with elastic

stud fastening gained by Acavallo. D839,495 issued on January 29, 2019 and


protects the ornamental design of boots sold at www.acavallo.com. This patent

has a fifteen-year term, while the patent for the illumination device has only a

fourteen-year term. The reason that the period when the boot patent is in force

is longer is because the tail lights patent application was filed before the law

changed to increase the length of exclusivity for a design. Going forward, new

design patent applications will all get the fifteen-year term of protection.

Design patent protection is surprisingly affordable. Taking the first step in the

process to obtain a design patent from the federal government has a low cost.

The initial fees for submitting the patent application for the illumination device to

the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) cost under $200 because the

inventor was able to qualify for the least expensive fee category (microentity).

Besides the USPTO fees, the entrepreneur should also expect to pay attorney

service fees for preparing the application and draftsman’s fees for creating formal

drawings in order to file the design patent application. These costs will be

variable, depending upon how many drawings are required to fully describe the

invention.


Design patents protect the ornamental features of an item, and have the

advantages of 1) a relatively short time from application submission to USPTO

issuance; 2) relatively inexpensive cost for preparation and prosecution; 3) no

maintenance fees; and 4) lower likelihood of post-grant challenges.  So a design

patent is certainly something an entrepreneur in the pet products business should

consider as a cost-effective way to protect the aesthetic aspects of a new

product.

Disclaimer - Note that the views expressed herein do not represent the views of any law firm or client, and may not even represent the views of the author. This blog is NOT legal advice and is for informational purposes only. No attorney client relationship can be formed by reading this blog or using any of the information provided. The accuracy of the information provided has not been verified.

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©2019 by Elaine Marie Pet Patents and Policy