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Recent Blog Posts

  • “Cover Up What You Don’t Want to See”: Advantek Marketing v. Shanghai Walk-Long Tools (Fed. Cir., Aug. 1, 2018) Advantek obtained U.S. Design Patent No. D715,006 (“D ’006”) on a “gazebo” without a cover, the gazebo essentially being a portable kennel. Figs. 1 and 2 from D ’006 are reproduced below.   During prosecution of the application that later became D ’006, the Examiner issued a Restriction Requirement. The Requirement split the application into two groups: a gazebo without a cover, and a gazebo with a cover. According to the Examiner, the “designs as grouped are distinct from each other….”... More
  • When the Underdog Becomes a Top Dog Almost 16 years ago, we wrote an article in Managing Intellectual Property (Nov. 2002, Issue 124) entitled U.S. DESIGN PATENTS: AN UNDERDOG THAT BITES. The article explained that companies had previously overlooked design patents, focusing instead on trade dress protection and utility patents. Yet, design patents provide their owners with the additional option of demanding the infringer's total profits under 35 USC 289. “This option may be advantageous, for example, when the infringer's total profits are substantially greater than any... More
  • Recap of USPTO's Design Day 2018 The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) held its 12th annual Design Day on April 25, 2018.    9:00-9:15 - "Welcome and Kick-off" - Andrei Iancu, the new Director of the USPTO, kicked off this year's event with a welcome address.  ... More
  • Ugg! Deckers Doesn’t Want Anyone To “Muk” Around With Their Design Patent A few years ago, I wrote an article (available here) about Deckers’ mixed success in a 2014 lawsuit against retailers JC Penney, Wal-Mart, Sears, and Dreams Footwear, for design patent infringement, trade dress infringement, and unfair competition, among other asserted causes of action, in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California. Since then, Deckers has tangled its laces with many other defendants over similar issues—the majority of which were before the same court.   Well, Deckers hiked back to court... More
  • Dental Appliance Design Patents Asserted Again GLO SCIENCE, INC. (“GLO SCIENCE”) recently asserted two design patents directed to mouthpieces against multiple parties in different jurisdictions. This is not the first time the two design patents have been asserted, however. The design patents have been asserted now at least eight times, leading to settlements in at least three of the cases. The multiple patent infringement suits and settlements, perhaps, underscore the valuable part design patents can play in a patent portfolio. As discussed before, some of the... More