§ 1301. Designs protected2
(a) Designs protected. —
(1) In general. — The designer or other owner of an original design of
a useful article which makes the article attractive or distinctive in
appearance to the purchasing or using public may secure the protection
provided by this chapter upon complying with and subject to this
(2) Vessel features.—The design of a vessel hull, deck, or combination
of a hull and deck, including a plug or mold, is subject to protection
under this chapter, notwithstanding section 1302(4).
(3) Exceptions.—Department of Defense rights in a registered design
under this chapter, including the right to build to such registered
design, shall be determined solely by operation of section 2320 of
title 10 or by the instrument under which the design was developed for
the United States Government.
(b) Definitions. — For the purpose of this chapter, the following
terms have the following meanings:
(1) A design is “original” if it is the result of the designer's
creative endeavor that provides a distinguishable variation over prior
work pertaining to similar articles which is more than merely trivial
and has not been copied from another source.
(2) A “useful article” is a vessel hull or deck, including a plug or
mold, which in normal use has an intrinsic utilitarian function that
is not merely to portray the appearance of the article or to convey
information. An article which normally is part of a useful article
shall be deemed to be a useful article.
(3) A “vessel” is a craft —
(A) that is designed and capable of independently steering a course on
or through water through its own means of propulsion; and
(B) that is designed and capable of carrying and transporting one or
(4) A ‘hull’ is the exterior frame or body of a vessel, exclusive of
the deck, superstructure, masts, sails, yards, rigging, hardware,
fixtures, and other attachments.
(5) A “plug” means a device or model used to make a mold for the
purpose of exact duplication, regardless of whether the device or
model has an intrinsic utilitarian function that is not only to
portray the appearance of the product or to convey information.
(6) A “mold” means a matrix or form in which a substance for material
is used, regardless of whether the matrix or form has an intrinsic
utilitarian function that is not only to portray the appearance of the
product or to convey information.
(7) A ‘deck’ is the horizontal surface of a vessel that covers the
hull, including exterior cabin and cockpit surfaces and exclusive of
masts, sails, yards, rigging, hardware, fixtures, and other