Design Patent

News & Analysis as of

No Time to Relax for Inflatable Lounger Companies

With their newly issued design patent in hand, Fatboy the Original B.V. and Fatboy USA have quickly acted to defend their place on the sand. ...more

Design Patents and Copyrights for Designs on Useful Articles

Two recent cases illustrate the potential benefits of protecting intellectual property rights with both design patents and copyrights, particularly for an article that has both utility and a design, including because a design...more

Introduction to IP: Some Basics of Patents, Trademarks, & Trade Secrets

What is “Intellectual Property” (IP)? •Exclusive Rights to Certain Intellectual Products (Ideas) –Necessary due to the “non-rivalrous” nature of ideas: •“He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction...more

Lights Out for Invalidity and Unenforceability Counterclaims After PTAB Invalidates Design Patent

Flipping the switch on the last remaining claims in the case, a Massachusetts Court recently dismissed as moot two defendants’ counterclaims for declaratory judgment of invalidity and unenforceability following a PTAB...more

The Design Patent Case of the Century

On October 11, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Apple v. Samsung, the first case before the court in more than 125 years involving a claim for design patent infringement...more

Mark It to MarketTM - July 2016

The July 2016 issue of Sterne Kessler's Mark It to MarketTM newsletter discusses an upcoming SCOTUS design patent case, In One Nation Enterprises and stylization of a descriptive term, and currently open gTLD Sunrise...more

The Effect of The Brexit (UK Departure from EU) on IP Rights

In a June 23, 2016 referendum, the combined electorates of the United Kingdom and Gibraltar voted in favor of the United Kingdom, and consequently Gibraltar, leaving the European Union (EU). According to Article 50 of...more

Five IP Lessons for Small to Medium–sized Businesses

Intellectual property plays an increasingly significant role in the successful management of American and international businesses alike.  I’ve set out below a few of the most important questions that you as a small to...more

If The UK Votes To Brexit (Depart From The EU), How Will Your IP Rights Be Affected?

On June 23, 2016 the United Kingdom (UK) and Gibraltar will vote in a referendum to remain in or leave the European Union (EU). If the UK votes to leave, according to Article 50 of the European Union Treaty, the...more

Protecting the Next Big App

Due to our ever-increasing dependence on mobile devices, we use mobile apps daily, whether to try and defeat Candy Crush® or to quickly order a pizza. Indeed, many of you may be reading this article via mobile app....more

Design Patents and Trade Dress

I often get asked by clients to discuss the differences between design patents and trade dress. Both are intellectual property protections that protect similar aspects of a product—the appearance and aesthetic features. Last...more

Intellectual Property Bulletin - Spring 2016

Supreme Court to Weigh In on Damages for Design Patent Infringement - Recent decisions from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit regarding damages available in design patent cases highlight the court’s...more

IP Infringement Claim Against Canadian Company Stays in U.S.

Where should a lawsuit be heard? Canada? The US? In other posts we discuss the idea of a “choice of law” and “forum selection” clauses in contracts. In those cases, the parties agree to a particular forum in...more

Reflecting on Design Patents

Often the appearance of an article is attributable to the nature of the surface as much as its shape. Reflective surfaces are often depicted in design patent drawings as parallel lines...more

Using Design Patents to Claim Functional Elements???

A recent opinion from the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Sport Dimension, Inc. v. The Coleman Co., No. 2015-1553, 7 (Fed. Cir. 2016), held that design patents can provide protection for ornamental...more

What Happens in the U.S. Stays in the U.S.: IP Dispute Against Canadian Company Will Not be Moved to Canadian Forum

Although motions to dismiss or transfer a case based on a forum non conveniens theory typically focus on the relative merits of two U.S. jurisdictions, this theory may also be applied when a party claims that a case brought...more

Federal Circuit Reverses Claim Construction of Design Patent That Ignored Functional Elements

Applicants for design patents should consider claiming functional aspects of their designs in addition to the purely ornamental elements as part of their claiming strategy to achieve the broadest protection for their designs....more

An Illuminating Discussion About Design Patents

Design patents protect the aesthetic appearance of a product or portion of the product. The aesthetic appearance is affected by a number of things, including whether the product is illuminated. However, how does one capture...more

Federal Circuit Patent Updates - April 2016

Mankes v. Vivid Seats Ltd. (No. 2015-1909, 4/22/16) (Taranto, Schall, Chen) - Taranto, J. Vacating judgment on the pleadings dismissing cases for inadequately pleading divided infringement and remanding for...more

Functional Features in Design Patents

The treatment of functional features in design patents was discussed in the recent Federal Circuit case for Sport Dimension, Inc. v. The Coleman Company, Inc., Case No. 15-1553 (Fed. Cir. 2016). The Court rejected the...more

It is Error to Ignore Functional Structures Entirely in a Design Patent Construction

In Sport Dimension, Inc. v. The Coleman Company, [2015-1553] (April 19. 2016) the Federal Circuit vacated the stipulated judgment of non-infringement of U.S. Patent No. D623,714 on a personal flotation device, and remanded...more

An Animated Review of Design Patents

Design patents protect the appearance of articles of manufacture, and this includes articles of manufacture whose appearance changes over time. In particular, animated displays on computers and other electronic devices can...more

Iconography

It is pretty well known that icons can be protected with design patents, however we continue to adhere to the fiction that it is not the icon we are protecting, but the substrate decorated with the icon that we are...more

The History, Purpose and Benefits of Patents

Britain has the longest known continuous patent system. British patents can be traced to the 15th Century, when the British Crown began granting exclusive rights, called “Letters Patent,” to certain manufacturers and traders....more

The Smart Phone Patent Saga Continues - Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., et al.

In a case involving suits, countersuits and multiple appeals by the two giants of the mobile phone space, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed a jury’s finding of infringement, voiding the accompanying...more

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