Christopher Carani Image

Christopher Carani


McAndrews, Held & Malloy, Ltd

Christopher V. Carani is a Shareholder at McAndrews and has been at the firm since 1995. He practices in all areas of intellectual property law with a particular emphasis on design law.

Chris has extensive experience litigating design patent cases, including representations before U.S. district courts, the Federal Circuit, the U.S. Supreme Court and the International Trade Commission. In 2019, Chris was named to the IAM Strategy 300: The World’s Leading IP Strategists list, with IAM magazine noting that he is “one of the world’s leading design patent strategists.” In 2015, IAM magazine first included Chris in its IAM Patent 1000, referring to him as one of the U.S.’s “pre-eminent design law experts.” In the 2016, IAM Magazine noted that he “is one of the nation’s top design patent specialists.”

Chris has extensive experience in creating valuable design right portfolios. He represents some of the world’s most design-centric companies, including the top filer of U.S. design patents. He has procured thousands of strategic design rights, both in the U.S and in over 70 countries around the world. He counsels a wide range of clients (big and small) on design protection and enforcement issues and is often called upon to render infringement, validity and design-around opinions.

In the landmark design patent case Egyptian Goddess v. Swisa, Chris authored amicus briefs on behalf of the American Intellectual Property Law Association at both the petition and en banc stages, taking positions which were ultimately adopted by the Federal Circuit and thereby reshaped U.S. design patent jurisprudence. In Calmar, Inc. v. Arminak & Assoc., Chris authored a brief on behalf of the Industrial Design Society of America in support of a petition for writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Chris is currently the chair of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI) Design Rights Committee. He is the former chair of the American Bar Association’s Design Rights Committee, and also a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s (AIPLA) Committee on Industrial Designs. Chris is currently vice president of the U.S. chapter of AIPPI.

Recent Articles by Christopher Carani

‘Nothing Compares 2 U’: SCOTUS to Determine What’s Fair in Warhol v. Goldsmith

While Prince might have written the song “Nothing Compares 2 U,” Sinéad O’Connor transformed the tune, made it her own and it became a mega hit. In a similar vein, photographer Lynn Goldsmith took a photograph of Prince in 1981 that artist Andy Warhol used as a basis for his 1984 “Prince Series” silkscreen prints. Did Warhol infringe Goldsmith’s copyright by using her photograph as the basis for his prints or was his work sufficiently transformative to be protected as “fair use”? That is the question at the heart of the case that the United States Supreme Court will hear in its fall 2022 term. This case may prove to be the most significant Supreme Court fair use case to date.