Patent and Invention Help Forum

Patent and Inventing Discussion => Patent Questions and Advice => Topic started by: Ahron Krasnow on January 28, 2019, 08:29:32 PM

Title: Patent question - Can a QR code be patented?
Post by: Ahron Krasnow on January 28, 2019, 08:29:32 PM
Can a QR code be patented? Meaning, can you use a QR code as a design/logo for a clothing company and get a patent for that?
Title: Re: Patent question
Post by: Brad on January 29, 2019, 09:15:05 AM
This is actually an interesting (and challenging) question.

Without doing a lot of research on this my initial response would be "no".  A logo cannot be patented and instead you should look into a trademark or service mark:

Furthermore, the general idea of using QR codes is no longer patentable using a "utility" patent, even if your code is unique and looks different from other codes.

However, there are cases where you can patent "computer generated icons" using a design patent but generally these have to be displayed on a computer or phone screen:

So to give you my quick (free) non-legal opinion - if you are talking about printing a tee shirt or or some "article" and as part of your new design you want to include a unique QR code I would say "maybe" this could be protected by a new design type patent (not a utility patent).   If however you are just thinking of ways to protect your brand/logo I would say a patent is not used for that purpose and instead look at trademarks. 

*Sorry I don't have a clear answer for you but without doing some real research here (which costs time and money) this is just a best guess.