Takeaway: The USPTO issued its milestone 1 millionth design patent, highlighting the role of design patents in protecting unique product appearances for small businesses and inventors.

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued its 1 millionth design patent to Agustina Huckaby, a licensed cosmetologist from Fort Worth, Texas, for the ornamental design of a dispensing comb, U.S. Patent No. D1,000,000. This achievement comes 181 years after the first design patent was granted in 1842.

Design patents protect how something looks, not how it functions, and they are crucial for small businesses seeking funding. The number of design patent applications has been rising, showcasing inventors’ creativity and the USPTO’s dedication. This milestone highlights the economic significance of design patents in driving consumer demand and fostering new businesses and jobs.