Dear Rich: I want to protect my designed pendants in the USA. What should I do? And what cost per pendant design? And how long will it take? A design patent may take one year or more to issue (although half of the applications issue in less than a year). An applicant can speed things along -- that is, obtain a design patent within two to six months -- by filing a Request for Expedited Examination of a Design Patent and paying a hefty fee. Here's an article about the expedited system. You can learn more about design patent strategy in this article and we explain the steps for preparing an application at this site. You can learn current fees at the USPTO website.