the firm's post-grant practitioners are some of the most experienced in the country.

Sameer  Gokhale
Kurt M. Berger, Ph.D.
Johnny  Ma
Yin Y. Nelson, Ph.D.
Robert  Tarcu
Erik M. Stang, Ph.D.
Bogdan A. Zinchenko
Yuki  Onoe
Nicholas  Rosa, Ph.D.
Andrew M. Ollis
Frank J. West
Arthur I. Neustadt
Maki  Saitoh
Akihiro  Yamazaki
Ryan W. Smith
Yorikatsu  Hohokabe, Ph.D.
Jenchieh (Joseph) Yuan
Michael R. Casey, Ph.D.
Dale M. Shaw
Jeffrey B. McIntyre
Kasumi  Kanetaka
Derek  Lightner, Ph.D.
John S. Kern
Aldo  Martinez
Tia D. Fenton
Surinder  Sachar
Peifang  Tian, Ph.D.
Yuanyi (Alex) Zhang
Christopher I. Donahue
Edwin D. Garlepp
Marina I. Miller, Ph.D.
Colin B. Harris
James R. Love
Norman F. Oblon
John F. Presper
Elissa L. Sanford
Long  Phan, Ph.D.
Stephen G. Baxter, Ph.D.
Alexander B. Englehart
Stefan Uwe  Koschmieder, Ph.D.
Chika (Teranishi) Iitoyo
Robert T. Pous
Robert W. Downs
Carl E. Schlier
Philippe J.C. Signore, Ph.D.
Tao  Feng, Ph.D.
Jay E. Rowe, Jr., Ph.D.
Alec M. Royka
Teddy S. Gron
J. Derek  Mason, Ph.D., CLP
Aristotelis M. Psitos
Richard D. Kelly
Anna Z. Lloyd
Eric W. Schweibenz
Kevin M. McKinley
Jianping (James)  Wu
Kevin Ross  Davis
Soumya  Panda
Thomas M. Cunningham, Ph.D.
Matthew H. Everhart, Ph.D.
Nanlin  Wang, Ph.D.
Brian B. Darville
Grace E. Kim
Eckhard H. Kuesters
Steven B. Chang
Yanwen  Fei
David M. Longo, Ph.D.
Daniel J. Pereira, Ph.D.
Kevin L. Hartman, Ph.D.
Diane  Jones
Christopher  Ricciuti
Craig R. Feinberg
Ching-Cheng (Tony)  Chang
Charles L. Gholz
Vincent K. Shier, Ph.D.
John  Sipos

Technologies

Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Digital Health
Digital Health
Energy & Renewables
Energy & Renewables

Fast Facts

About Our

Law Firm

About Our Law Firm

Headquartered within steps of the USPTO with an affiliate office in Tokyo, Oblon is one of the largest law firms in the United States focused exclusively on intellectual property law.

Get to know our

History

Get to know our History

1968
Norman Oblon with Stanley Fisher and Marvin Spivak launched what was to become Oblon, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt, LLP, one of the nation's leading full-service intellectual property law firms.

Our Local and

Global Reach

Our Local and Global Reach

Outside the US, we service companies based in Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia, and farther corners of the world. Our culturally aware attorneys speak many languages, including Japanese, French, German, Mandarin, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Farsi, Chinese.

A few of our

ACCOLADES

A few of our ACCOLADES

Oblon's professionals provide industry-leading IP legal services to many of the world's most admired innovators and brands.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUR

Career

OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUR Career

From the minute you walk through our doors, you'll become a valuable part of a team that fosters a culture of innovation, client service and collegiality.

A few ways to

GET In Touch

A few ways to GET In Touch
US Office

Telephone: 703-413-3000
Learn More +


Tokyo Office

Telephone: +81-3-6212-0550
Learn More +

Downloadable

Patent Forms

Downloadable Patent Forms

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued final rules implementing the inventor's oath or declaration provisions of the America Invents Act (AIA) on August 14, 2012.

Philippe J.C. Signore, Ph.D.

Philippe J.C. Signore, Ph.D.

Managing Partner ∙ US Office
E: psignore@oblon.com
T: (703) 413-3000
Join My LinkedIn Network
Download My vCard
Download Summary PDF
Download Detailed PDF

Blog

http://www.protectingdesigns.com/

Recent Blog Posts

  • USPTO Design Day 2021

    USPTO Design Day 2021 will be held virtually from 1 pm to 4 pm EDT on April 22, 2021.  Following the program, there will be a networking opportunity from 4:15 pm to 4:45 pm EDT. After having Design Day canceled last year, we are looking forward to its return.

    Registration links:

    Design Day 2021 – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/design-day-2021-tickets-144708808943

    Networking - https://www.eventbrite.com/e/networking-event-design-day-2021-tickets-148943709645 More
  • Design Patents, PGR, and Functionality – the USPTO’s Sattler Decision
    Design patents cover the ornamental design for articles of manufacture. Almost by definition, an article of manufacture is designed to perform a useful function. But if the design of an article of manufacture is dictated by its function, especially if there are no alternative designs available that perform the same function, the design patent may be invalid as lacking ornamentality under 35 USC § 171. As an aside, opinions and discussions use the terms “functionality” and “lacking ornamentality” interchangeably when discussing the 35 USC § 171 requirement for design patents. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (Patent Office) recently designated as Informative a decision instituting a post-grant review (PGR) proceeding on the issue of design patent functionality in Sattler Tech. Corp. v. Humancentric Ventures, LLC, PGR2019-00030, paper no. 9 (“Decision”). More
  • Columbia Sportswear Appeal Decision Covers Design Infringement; No Reflection on Damages
    Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“CAFC”) issued an opinion in Columbia Sportswear v. Seirus Innovative Accessories (No. 2018-1329, 2018-1331 and 2018-1728) (Nov. 13, 2019). Although many interested stakeholders in the design patent world had hoped for some guidance on the “article of manufacture” issue as it relates to the calculation of a design patent infringer’s total profits, the CAFC did not reach the question of damages. Instead, the CAFC focused on the finding of infringement. More
  • I burn, burn like a wicker chair; chalk white and oh-so frail…
    Wicker Chair

    The title above refers to a lyric from a 1998 song by Eve 6, although they used the word “cabinet” instead of “chair.” While this simple substitution of a word on my part is designed to evoke an image, the choice of words and the image evoked* can mean so much more in the world of design patents.

    Yesterday, in Curver Luxembourg v. Home Expressions (Fed. Cir. Appeal No. 18-2214), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a District Court of New Jersey decision against plaintiff-appellant Curver Luxembourg. Curver sued Home Expressions for infringement of U.S. Design Patent No. D677,946, asserting that Home “makes and sells a basket that is identical to Curver’s basket in every way, including incorporating the patented overlapping “Y” design.” Home countered that its baskets could not possibly infringe Curver’s design patent, because the patent claim was limited to a chair. The district court agreed and dismissed the case, reasoning that Curver’s “original application was for a design on furniture. And what Curver got, as opposed to what it asked for, was a patent that protects against infringement for a particular “Y” design on chairs only.” Here, “in a case of first impression,” the Federal Circuit also agreed, holding that the scope of Curver’s U.S. design patent was limited to “an ornamental design for a pattern for a chair,” such that it did not read on Home’s baskets. More
  • Design Day 2019

    The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) held its 13th annual Design Day on April 25, 2019.

    Hosted by Lakiya Rogers (SPE TC 2900) and Elizabeth Ferrill (Finnegan), Design Day 2019 began with introdutory comments from Drew Hirshfeld, Commission for Patents. 

    Following Commissioner Hirshfeld, Karen Young (Director for TC 2900) discussed the state of TC2900, including various design patent-related statistics for TC 2900.  Among other information, Director Young indicated that TC 2900 would be adding more examiners, including both Supervisory Patent Examiners (SPEs) and junior patent examiners.   

    David Gerk, Attorney-Advisor Office of Policy, then presented on the topic of "Beyond the USPTO: Design Developments Across the Globe."  Mr. Gerk's presentation touched on changes in international design practice, including changes in grace period in Japan (now twelve months), Singapore's new design protections, partial designs in China, and availability regarding Digital Access Service (DAS) for priority documents. 

    The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO)'s Todd Hunter, Director of Copyright and Industrial Design Branch, followed Mr. Gerk to discuss design-related views from Canada's perspective.  Notably, Mr. Hunter highlighted Canada’s shift from 10 years to 15 years of design patent protection.

    The next presenter discussed a number of recent Federal Circuit decisions involving design patents, probably most notably In re Maatita.  This presentation was followed by William LaMarca, Senior Counsel for Intellectual Property with the Office of the Solicitor, who was the USPTO's lead counsel for In re Maatita.  Mr. LaMarca shared his personal account and insight of the In re Maatita case. 

    Kate Eary of Gentex Corporation presented next.  She discussed Gentex's 125-year history and the importance design has played in product evolution. 

    Following lunch, Sarah Brooks from IMB Corp. provided an overview of the design culture at IBM and the impressive returns on their new design program. Ms. Brooks shared helpful lessons that she learned from implementing their design program.

    Next, Dana Weiland, an Examiner in Art Unit 2919, provided her helpful perspective on searching an examining design patent applications. This presentation included a overview of classifying new applications, a behind the scenes look at an Examiner’s docket, and the steps of a sample examination. Examiner Weiland noted that design Examiners have a flip rate of less than 0.5 seconds when reviewing prior art references, which is very impressive.

    Jenae Gureff then provided a report on several recent PTAB decisions. Interestingly, the decisions presented included inter partes reviews (IPR), a post-grant review (PGR), and an ex parte reexam.

    Next, the Honorable Jill Hill, an Administrative Patent Judge at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board provided a view from the bench. Judge Hill’s presentation explained the options and procedures available to applicants. Judge Hill also provided some comments regarding effective briefing in design cases, which we found to be very helpful.

    After a brief break, a panel of in-house counsel provided an overview of design patent portfolio management. The panelist represented Hubbell Incorporated, Eli Lily and Company, and Husqvarna Group and gave an overview of their respective organization, including how invention disclosures and inventor interaction worked.

    The final presentation of the day was an overview four recent district court decisions involving design patents. The products involved in these district court cases included a wine rack, chalk holders, vehicle wheels, and promotional vehicles, again demonstrating that design patents can be a useful tool for protecting IP rights in many different types of inventions.

    Design Day continues to be a well-attended, well run event that is helpful to Examiners and practitioners alike. Design Day has historically be held at the end of every April so mark your calendars for next year. However, be sure to register early as this popular event is sure to fill up quickly.

    More