Posts Tagged: "design patents"

Why and When Design Patents are Useful

Simply said, the rights provided by one design patent will be extremely unsatisfactory. However, design patents must be considered because a design patent can in many instances be awarded in as few as six to nine months. If obtaining some protection is important for an overall marketing strategy, getting at least some protection quickly may be advantageous compared to waiting the two to three years it will likely take to obtain a utility patent. Design patents can also be an extremely useful tool for a variety of reasons.

How to Avoid USPTO Rejections in Patent Drawings

Accurate and clear patent drawings strengthen and enhance patent applications, helping patent examiners who are already overburdened with applications to understand inventions faster. In this article, we will be covering the essential points on the importance of patent drawings and how we can make the drawings feasible for filing at the USPTO. We will also cover some important guidelines to help you to avoid unwanted office actions.

Could COVID-19 Counterfeit Concerns Get Congress to Move Towards Passage of the Counterfeit Goods Seizure Act?

In late July, water bottle maker Hydro Flask and parent company Helen of Troy Limited filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) asking the agency to institute a Section 337 investigation against a series of 25 respondents, most of which are located in China, over their alleged infringement of Hydro Flask’s trademarks and design patents. The legal action highlights the difficulties being faced by many American brand owners during the COVID-19 pandemic and how Congressional action could help to ensure that these small businesses are able to effectively enforce their IP to prevent counterfeit imports.

IPWatchdog Annual Meeting Now VIRTUAL CON2020

IPWatchdog® CON2020 has gone VIRTUAL!   The IPWatchdog® Virtual CON2020 will endeavor to address the issues facing innovators, creators and brand owners as they find it increasingly difficult to monetize their proprietary creations in an economy where many large enterprises no longer want to pay for what they choose to implement and/or sell, and there is scant legal recourse to…

IPWatchdog Annual Meeting Now VIRTUAL CON2020

IPWatchdog® CON2020 has gone VIRTUAL!   The IPWatchdog® Virtual CON2020 will endeavor to address the issues facing innovators, creators and brand owners as they find it increasingly difficult to monetize their proprietary creations in an economy where many large enterprises no longer want to pay for what they choose to implement and/or sell, and there is scant legal recourse to…

IPWatchdog Annual Meeting Now VIRTUAL CON2020

IPWatchdog® CON2020 has gone VIRTUAL!   The IPWatchdog® Virtual CON2020 will endeavor to address the issues facing innovators, creators and brand owners as they find it increasingly difficult to monetize their proprietary creations in an economy where many large enterprises no longer want to pay for what they choose to implement and/or sell, and there is scant legal recourse to…

IPWatchdog Annual Meeting Now VIRTUAL CON2020

IPWatchdog® CON2020 has gone VIRTUAL!   The IPWatchdog® Virtual CON2020 will endeavor to address the issues facing innovators, creators and brand owners as they find it increasingly difficult to monetize their proprietary creations in an economy where many large enterprises no longer want to pay for what they choose to implement and/or sell, and there is scant legal recourse to…

IPWatchdog Annual Meeting Now VIRTUAL CON2020

IPWatchdog® CON2020 has gone VIRTUAL!   The IPWatchdog® Virtual CON2020 will endeavor to address the issues facing innovators, creators and brand owners as they find it increasingly difficult to monetize their proprietary creations in an economy where many large enterprises no longer want to pay for what they choose to implement and/or sell, and there is scant legal recourse to…

Federal Circuit Finds District Court Correctly Applied Ordinary Observer Test

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) affirmed a decision of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida in Lanard Toys Limited v. Dolgencorp LLC, Ja-Ru, Inc., Toys “R” Us-Delaware, Inc. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Dolgencorp LLC, Ja-Ru, Inc., Toys “R” Us-Delaware, Inc. (the Appellees) on Lanard’s claims of design patent infringement, copyright infringement, trade dress infringement, and statutory and common law unfair competition. The CAFC, in an opinion authored by Judge Lourie, affirmed on all four claims.

Federal Circuit Finds District Court Did Not Err in Jury Instructions On ‘Ordinary Observer’ Standard

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) affirmed a decision of the District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia finding that GMS Mine Repair and Maintenance, Inc. (GMS) infringed Hafco Foundry and Machine Company, Inc.’s (Hafco) design patent, U.S. Design Patent No. D681,684 (the ’684 patent), directed to a rock dust blower for distributing rock dust in areas such as coal mines.  The CAFC also affirmed the district court’s denial of GMS’ request for a new trial due to errors in the jury instructions. Judge Newman concurred with the majority’s decision but wrote separately to note that she would have resolved the matter of damages by accepting Hafco’s proposed remitter of $110,000, which was the total of Hafco’s lost profits.

Other Barks & Bites, Friday, December 6: Lawmakers Concerned with Copyright Restatement, USPTO Pushed to Keep SEP Injunction Policy, Qualcomm Pushes Back on Koh at Ninth Circuit

This week in Other Barks & Bites: the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments over copyright status of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated; the Federal Circuit remands Ericsson appeal to calculate release payment in patent license; Apple, Ford and others urge the USPTO to retain policy against injunctions on companies practicing SEPs; Huawei asks the Fifth Circuit to undo the FCC’s ban preventing it from supplying U.S. networks; Sergey Brin and Larry Page relinquish executive duties at Google; U.S. antitrust regulators explore Amazon’s cloud business; Washington politicians send letter to ALI over Copyright Restatement Effort concerns; and Qualcomm challenges Judge Koh’s class action certification at the Ninth Circuit.

New Bill Would Empower U.S. Customs to Enforce Design Patents at U.S. Border to Combat Imported Counterfeit Goods

Yesterday, the Counterfeit Goods Seizure Act of 2019 was introduced in the U.S. Senate to empower U.S. Customs and Border Protection to enforce U.S. design patents at the U.S. border. The bill is co-sponsored by Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Chris Coons (D-DE), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Mazie Hirono (D-HI). Currently, Section 1595a(c)(2)(C) of Title 19 of the U.S. Code empowers Customs to enforce copyrights and trademarks that have been previously recorded with Customs. The bill proposes amending 19 U.S.C. § 1595a(c)(2)(C) to give Customs similar discretionary power to seize and detain imported goods that infringe a recorded U.S. design patent. The bill is publicly supported by Nike Inc. and the 3M Company, as well as the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) and the American Intellectual Property Owners Association (AIPLA).

The Most Common Design Patent Application Rejections (and How to Avoid Them) – Part I

As one of about 46,000 registered practitioners in the United States, most of us are unfortunately too well acquainted with Section 101, 102, and 103 rejections from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). But it may be surprising that most rejected design patent applications are not rejected under these sections. Instead, the least favorite number of the design patent practitioner is 112. While Section 112 rejections on utility applications are generally easily overcome, that is often not always the case with such rejections on design applications. Since there are only about 30,000 design applications issued each year, each of the 46,000 registered practitioners handle on average less than one design application per year! So, for those unfamiliar with the quirks of design patent practice, which is most of us, and since design patent applications have a relatively high allowance rate of 84% (see the USPTO Data Visualization Center/Design Data page, it might be tempting to rely on your patent draftsperson to prepare what they think are adequate drawings, copy the mostly boiler-plate specification language, and just file the application. But that can be a costly mistake.

CAFC Holding in Campbell Soup Design Patent Case Addresses Standard for Establishing Proper Primary References

The Federal Circuit recently held in Campbell Soup Company v. Gamon Plus, Inc. (September 26, 2019) that a prior art reference lacking one of only two features shown in solid line was similar enough to the claimed design to constitute a proper primary reference. Campbell Soup et al. appealed the final written decisions of the PTAB holding that they had not demonstrated that the claimed designs of U.S. Patent Nos USD612646 Gamon and USD621645 Gamon were obvious over the asserted prior art of U.S. Patent No. D405622 (USD405622 Linz) and GB Patent Application No. 2,303,624 (Samways GB2303624A). In their holding, the Board found that neither Linz nor Samways constituted proper primary prior art references. The Federal Circuit affirmed-in-part, vacated-in-part and remanded.

IPWatchdog Annual Meeting Now VIRTUAL CON2020

IPWatchdog® CON2020 has gone VIRTUAL!   The IPWatchdog® Virtual CON2020 will endeavor to address the issues facing innovators, creators and brand owners as they find it increasingly difficult to monetize their proprietary creations in an economy where many large enterprises no longer want to pay for what they choose to implement and/or sell, and there is scant legal recourse to…