Functionality

News & Analysis as of

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

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

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

Ninth Circuit Decision Finds Side-By-Side Medical Results Charts Arguably Non-Functional and Protectable Trade Dress

The Ninth Circuit recently considered whether the layout of a medical report can be protected as trade dress under the Lanham Act, or whether the layout of a report is merely functional. The subject case, Millennium...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

Are Registrations for Product Configuration Trademarks for Suckers?

As a kid, I loved candy. But as an adult, who happens to be an intellectual property attorney, I still love candy. So you can bet your sweet tooth that I was feeling a sugar rush when I came across a pending application to...more

Self-Inflicted Cuts That Can Kill a Trademark?

We have some razor sharp readers and guest bloggers. We’re deeply thankful and especially grateful when our readers and guest bloggers send us real life illustrations of marketing pitfalls we’ve identified, sliced and diced...more

Claim Drafting Strategies -- Functional Claiming and Reciting User-Action

On December 1, 2015, the International Trade Commission (ITC) rendered an opinion In the Matter of Certain Vision-Based Driver Assistance System Cameras, Components Thereof, and Products Containing the Same, investigation no....more

Tissue Tussles at the Trademark Office

Each of the seasons has its own soundtrack to signal its transition. Spring is symbolized by the chirping of robins and sparrows. The sound of the grill and the splashing in the pool announces the arrival of Summer....more

Drawing a Line in the Floor—Courts Are Struggling With the Overlap Between Design Patent and Copyright

In 2003 the U.S. Supreme Court in Dastar Corp. v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. emphasized that “[t]he rights of a patentee or copyright holder are part of a ‘carefully crafted bargain,’… under which, once the patent or...more

Ads Touting Function Shoot Down Trademark

This isn’t the first time we’ve written about brand owners who shoot themselves in the foot with their advertising. And, I’m sure it won’t be the last. As we’ve discussed before, touting the function of a product design...more

Comparison of Design Patent and Trade Dress Protection in Light of the Federal Circuit’s Decision in Apple v. Samsung

In a decision authored by Chief Judge Sharon Prost, the Federal Circuit held that while design patents covering product configurations – that is, “a product feature or a combination or arrangement of features” – can protect...more

Business Litigation Report - August 2015

Extradition for U.S. Antitrust Crimes: An Anomaly or the New Normal? - In April 2014, Germany extradited Romano Pisciotti, an Italian national, to the United States to face criminal charges related to his alleged...more

August 2015: Trademark/Copyright Litigation Update

Federal Circuit Invalidates Apple’s iPhone Trade Dresses as Functional. On May 18, 2015, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed a judgment of the Northern District of California that Samsung had diluted Apple’s...more

Sony’s “Lens-Style Camera” Trademark: Shuttered by the PTO?

Here’s another fascinating pending application for the file of non-traditional product configuration marks — this time, an application from Sony for the configuration of an all-in-one lens/camera...more

Two Prong Protection is the Best Approach for Product Configuration

It has long been possible to use both trade dress and design patent rights to protect three-dimensional designs that function as trademarks. One strategy has been to rely on design patent protection while a three-dimensional...more

Williamson Decision Will Encourage Patent Defendants to Challenge Software Claims

In Williamson v. Citrix Online, announced on June 16, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled in a partially en banc opinion that claims expressed in terms of functionality can be subject to statutory requirements...more

Food Packaging Trademarks: It’s in the Bag?

Welcome to another edition of non-traditional trademarks in connection with package designs: The Billy Goat Chip Company contends it owns exclusive rights in a protectable and distinctive trademark for the appearance...more

Apple v. Samsung: Trade Dress Functionality and Total Profits without Apportionment

The highly publicized Apple v. Samsung litigation saga began in April 2011 when Samsung alleged various infringements of patents and trade dress related to Apple’s iPhone. A jury awarded more than $1 billion in damages. In a...more

Intellectual Property Alert: Apple v. Samsung: The Federal Circuit Clarifies Design Patent Principles Law

In a much anticipated opinion issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Apple v. Samsung on May 18, the design patent law with respect to remedies and the infringement test remains robust. Notably, and...more

Single Color Mark — Functionality Does Not Necessarily Preclude Protectability

The Ninth Circuit’s recent decision in Moldex-Metric, Inc. v. McKeon Products, Inc. clarifies that even when a single color trade dress has a function, and even when the color is marketed as such, this fact alone does not...more

Bringing Down the Bauhaus for Trademarks?

We’ve been spilling a lot of digital ink lately on the topic of non-traditional trademark protection and how the functionality doctrine serves as an absolute bar for such protection. As you know, for some time, we’ve...more

Design Patent Case Digest: High Point Design LLC and Meijer, Inc., Sears Holding Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Buyers Direct,...

Decision Dates: September 11, 2013 and March 26, 2014 - Courts: Federal Circuit and the Southern District of New York Patent: D598,183 - Holding: Grant of summary judgment of invalidity REVERSED and REMANDED; on...more

When is a Flavor/Taste Trademark Possible?

Are your intellectual taste buds craving more discussion of non-traditional trademarks? It’s not every day we have the opportunity to write about a restaurant’s claimed trademark protection for the flavor or taste of certain...more

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

38 Results
|
View per page
Page: of 2
JD Supra Readers' Choice 2016 Awards

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.
×