Functionality

News & Analysis as of

Pattern of Functional Dots in Absorbent Pad Functional? It’s a Fact Issue

McAirlaids, Inc. v. Kimberly-Clark Corp. - Addressing whether a pattern of dots embossed on an absorbent pad was functional, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed a lower court’s summary judgment in...more

Federal Circuit Holds That Even Functional Claims Require Structural Fence Posts

In AbbVie Deutschland Gmbh v. Janssen Biotech, Inc., the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court decision that found AbbVie’s patents directed to anti-IL-12 antibodies invalid for lack of adequate written description. As...more

Functional Claim Language – “Adapted To” and “Configured To” – Having Narrow Interpretations

Patent claim drafting is a challenging exercise that requires balancing potential infringement of the claim against the prior art. A patent practitioner may easily draft a claim of very narrow scope, but if such claim has a...more

Trademark Functionality and Fashion – Tips for Clients

Trademark protection is very important in the fashion industry. The ability to protect certain logos and design features may determine the success of a fashion designer’s business. Thus, it is crucial to understand how to...more

Functional Language in Claiming: Configured to, and Operable to

Functional language is often employed in claims in order to obtain a broader claim than one that recites purely structural limitations. The premise for this is that there is more than one way to perform a function. So, an...more

Aesthetic Functionality in the TTAB since Louboutin

The doctrine of aesthetic functionality was revived in the recent Louboutin case to protect the competitive need to use color to communicate a particular message. In that case, Christian Louboutin S.A. tried to enforce its...more

Means Plus Function Treatment Does not Apply Where Claim Element Conveys Known Structure to the Skilled Person

The Federal Circuit in Enocean GmbH v. Face International Corporation No. 2012-1645 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 31, 2014) reviewed claims which were found by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences...more

Sixth Circuit Rules that Trade Dress Law Does Not Prevent Copying of Functional Design

In Groeneveld Transport Efficiency, Inc. v. Lubecore International, Inc., 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 18897 (6th Cir. Sept. 12, 2013), an industry veteran and a relative newcomer battled over the appearance of a rather specialized...more

Software Development and the Use of Abstractions

The process of developing software typically involves the use of abstractions of concrete concepts to describe the operations performed by a computer and objects of such operations. Some software abstractions are so familiar...more

Federal Circuit Holds Patentee to Functional Claim Language

In Bayer Cropscience AG v. Dow AgroSciences LLC, the Federal Circuit upheld the district court’s claim construction that interpreted “2,4-D monooxygenase” in accordance with its established scientific meaning, even though...more

MBHB Snippets: Review of Developments in Intellectual Property Law - Volume 11, Issue 3 (Summer 2013): Trademark Functionality in...

Diageo, the world’s largest producer of spirits, has recently found itself in several significant trademark disputes regarding a number of the company’s spirit lines. In a case decided in May 2012 Maker’s Mark brought suit...more

The Architecture of Copyright

This summer, Pacific Standard Time’s world-class exhibits highlight the architecture that gives Southern California its unique reputation for modern but relaxed style. This series of exhibits, a Getty initiative, titled...more

PA Supreme Court Issues Business / Nonbusiness Income Decision

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has held that a taxpayer’s gain from the sale of timberland was apportionable business income using the “functional test” of Pennsylvania’s amended definition of “business income.” Glatfelter...more

Design Patent Case Digest: Telebrands Corp v. Del Laboratories, Inc.

Telebrands Corp v. Del Laboratories, Inc. - Decision Date: September 8, 2011 - Court: S.D. New York - Patents: D596,802 - Holding: Coty’s motion for summary judgment of invalidity denied - Opinion:...more

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