In a landmark moment for American innovation, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued its 1 millionth design patent to Fort Worth entrepreneur, Agustina Huckaby. The patent, a milestone in itself, is for the ornamental design of a dispensing comb.
Huckaby, a licensed cosmetologist, is no stranger to the patent game. She already holds a patent for another comb design and runs her business under the federally registered trademark Pomp and Powder.
“Protecting their unique products can help entrepreneurs find funding and succeed in a competitive marketplace,” said Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO.
Huckaby’s motivation? Breaking barriers, fostering relationships, and leaving a legacy for her three children. “Being able to own that design and having something for my kids to look up to and pass on, that’s groundbreaking to me,” she said.
Design patents are on the rise, with the USPTO receiving over 50,000 applications last year, marking a 20% increase over the last five years.
“Reaching a milestone like 1 million design patents not only speaks to the ingenuity of inventors all over the world but to the dedicated work of the USPTO’s 300+ design patent examiners who are the best at what they do,” said Commissioner for Patents Vaishali Udupa.
Design patents have a long history, dating back 181 years to the first design patent granted in the United States for a new typeface. Since then, they’ve protected the unique appearance of business products from Harley Davidson motorcycles to Star Wars characters.
As the USPTO continues to elevate the role of design patents in the marketplace, it’s clear that these patents are more than just a number. They’re a testament to the power of creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurial spirit.