Trade Dress or Design Patent? Why Not Both!?

Design patents are faster to acquire but they only have a 14 year lifespan for protection.  Trade dress (distinctive, brand identifying appearance or packaging) offers protection for as long as the identifying design is used in commerce.  The two work hand-in-hand.  The exclusive design patent period can offer protection while the consumer recognition required for trademark registration of trade dress is being built.  The combined cost of a design patent and a trade dress are likely to be less than the cost of a conventional utility patent, offering cost effective protection with no time limit.