Design Patents FAQs
While not required since the USPTO conducts one as part of the application examination process, it's always a good idea to conduct a design patent search on your own, prior to filing your application.
(The USPTO does require that you conduct your own search if you request expedited processing of your application.)
Because a design patent application's "description" is typically represented in its drawings, keyword searches are typically less effective at finding previously patented designs.
LegalZoom offers a comprehensive patent search service with results that cover relevant prior art in your field of invention.