Design Patent Case Digest: Sofpool, LLC v. Kmart Corp.

Decision Date: August 29, 2012 Court: E.D. California -

Patents: D480,817 -

Holding: Parties’ cross-motions for summary judgment denied -

Opinion: Plaintiff Sofpool, LLC sued Defendant Kmart Corp. for infringement of U.S. Design Patent D480,817 titled Above-ground Swimming Pool. Both Sofpool and Kmart sell similar above-ground pools. Sofpool moved for summary judgment on its infringement claim and Kmart cross-moved for summary judgment on non infringement and invalidity. The court ordered Sofpool to submit a claim construction distinguishing the functional and ornamental elements of its patented design. Sofpool complied and Kmart then offered a competing claim construction.

Sofpool’s claim construction focused on the “overall effect” of certain features including an above-ground oval pool, the pool sides, the top tube section on top of the sides, and the generally U-shaped side struts.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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