Commerce Under Secretary Awards 600,000th Design Patent

WASHINGTON – Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) David Kappos was joined by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) today to award design patent number 600,000 to Goal Zero, a subsidiary of Provo Craft and Novelty, and a small business located in Spanish Fork, Utah. The patent was granted for the design of a battery system, which works in conjunction with a solar briefcase that recharges the system using sunlight. This patent exemplifies the blending of green technology and appealing design.

"Today, small- and medium-sized businesses play a vital role in driving innovation and the growth of our economy," said Under Secretary Kappos. "Design patent protection can be a smart business strategy in a company’s intellectual property portfolio. They are an efficient and cost effective way to give an owner the right to prevent others from making, using, or selling a product that closely resembles the patented product."

“Small businesses such as Utah-based Goal Zero create 70 percent of all jobs in the U.S.,” Hatch said. “They are the economic engine that drives our economy, and they are largely responsible for the innovation that has kept our nation at the forefront of the world’s economy. I salute Goal Zero and Provo Craft and Novelty on the occasion of their being awarded design patent number 600,000. I think these two companies admirably reflect on the tremendously skilled, entrepreneurial and high-tech workforce that is increasingly making Utah the place to do business.”

Provo Craft and Novelty, Inc., was founded in 1964 and manufactures and distributes craft, hobby, and education products for school projects, as well as portable batteries, battery packs, and solar briefcases. Its products are sold worldwide. Goal Zero LLC is a subsidiary of Provo Craft and Novelty.

Design patents are granted for new, original, or ornamental designs for articles of manufacture. They are intended to give encouragement to the decorative arts and promote commerce by giving designers an incentive to make their products more aesthetically appealing to consumers. The first design patent was issued in 1842 to George Bruce of New York City for printing types. Design patents provide exclusive rights to their owners for a term of 14 years from the date of issuance. More than 23,400 design patents were issued in fiscal year 2009.