What is the difference between a utility patent and a design patent?
A full-on patent application for a US utility patent covers the actual invention of a system or method to do something novel. It includes the following distinct sections:
References depicting a prior art search
A set of claims
A design patent protects the esthetic design of a device, and nothing else. Design patents are fully defined with line drawings depicting the device with 7 views: 3D/isometric, top, front, left, right, bottom, back.