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Patent Technology Monitoring Team (PTMT)

Design Patenting In Design Classes,
Breakout By Organization

Explanation of Data

This report, prepared from the Technology Assessment and Forecast (TAF) database, profiles design patents (i.e., patents for ornamental designs) granted during the indicated time period. Each displayed annual count corresponds to design patents granted during the calendar year time period extending from January 1 to December 31 of that year.

Design Classes

The design classes available in these drill down reports are the major divisions of designs in the U.S. Patent Classification System (USPCS). It should be noted that each class is further divided into smaller divisions of designs called subclasses. The USPCS currently contains approximately 33 total design classes and 5,600 total design subclasses. Design classes available in these reports are classes as defined by the U.S. Patent Classification System as it existed on 31 December, 2015.

Copies of each design patent are placed (classified) in those design subclasses that have been identified as pertinent to the information disclosed in the patent. One, and only one, of these subclasses is designated as the PRIMARY classification, and the remainder (if any) are designated as CROSS-REFERENCE classifications. Counting design patents by PRIMARY classification ensures that each patent is counted only once. However, when counting design patents in this way, a design patent that displays concepts contained in more than one class will only be counted in the design class corresponding to the PRIMARY CLASSIFICATION. Please note that a design patent's PRIMARY classification is also referred to as its ORIGINAL classification in U.S. Patent and Trademark Office specific terminology.

Design patent classification, as used in these reports, is based on each patent's PRIMARY classification as of 31 December, 2015.

If the record for a design patent is incomplete and contains no PRIMARY classification, then the patent is counted in design class D00, titled DESIGN CLASSIFICATION UNDETERMINED. For a limited number of design patents, the PRIMARY classification has been changed from design class D00, titled DESIGN CLASSIFICATION UNDETERMINED, to another design class more indicative of the design content of the patents. These changes have been made only in cases where the design content of a patent could be associated with a design class other than class D00. For a more detailed description of the designs encompassed by a U.S. Patent Classification System design class, the Manual of U.S. Patent Classification and the U.S. Patent Classification System Classification Definitions should be consulted.

Listing of Design Patent Assignees (Owners)

Reports listing organizations (national and international corporations, universities, government agencies, businesses, and other organizations) receiving 3 or more design patents during the time period are presented. For reports covering ALL DESIGN CLASSES, organizations receiving 25 or more design patents during the period are presented. In each of these design class reports, organizations are listed in order of decreasing design patent counts. Annual design patent counts are displayed for each year of the time period.

Design patent ownership information reflects ownership at the time of patent grant and does not include subsequent changes in ownership. If more than one assignee was declared at the time of grant, design patent ownership is attributed to the first-named assignee.

No attempt has been made to combine assignee names based on subsidiary relationships. However, where possible, spelling variations and variations based on name changes (e.g., ESSO to EXXON) have been merged into a single name. While every effort is made to accurately identify all organizational entities and report data by a single organizational name, achievement of a totally clean record is not expected, particularly in view of the many variations which may occur in corporate identifications.

Please Note:

Some reports include an assignee entry labeled,


This entry corresponds to (1) design patents for which ownership was unassigned at the time of grant (i.e., ownership was presumably retained by the inventor(s)) and (2) design patents for which ownership was assigned to an individual at the time of grant (i.e., ownership assignment was not made to an organization).

Analyzing the Data

Use of spreadsheet software may facilitate analysis of the data contained in these reports. Users should note that many spreadsheet software programs (e.g., Microsoft Excel) can open these report files directly. Check the spreadsheet software documentation for details.

PTMT Contacts

Questions regarding these reports should be directed to:

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Electronic Information Products Division - PTMT
P.O Box 1450
Alexandria VA 22313-1450

tel: (571) 272-5600
fax: (571) 273-0110

address of PTMT pages at the USPTO Web Site:
selected PTMT materials available for download at :


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