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.