Trademark-Design Patent Overlap

INTRODUCTION:  This article explores the trademark-design patent overlap.  The maker of a new product or service wants to distinguish its goods/services from the competition.  A distinctive style of a product, identifying the maker or source of the product, can be valuable intellectual property.  Note I have previously written on the distinctions between trademarks and patents. …

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Patent or Trademark?

  Introduction: I continue to receive questions prefaced with a statement “I have an idea and I don’t know if I should patent it or trademark it?”  Patent or Trademark.  The question is often stated in various ways but I think you get the idea.  There are fundamental differences between requirements and rights of patenting…

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Design Patent Infringement – Dissenting Opinion

INTRODUCTION: I recently discussed the usefulness of pursuing design patents.  The Federal Circuit just ruled on a case of design patent infringement.  Lanard Toys Ltd., v. Dolgen Corp LLC, 19-1781 (Fed. Cir. 2020).  An image copy of the object subject of the design patent is compared below to the claimed infringing product.  Note that the Federal Circuit decision makes…

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Design Patents: $1 Billion Stepchild

INTRODUCTION: Everyone remembers Apple being awarded $1 billion in damages against Samsung for copying the design of Apple’s iPhone.  The award was the product of Apple obtaining a patent on a smart phone design, particularly the curved corners of the smart phone frame.  Samsung’s copying of a curved frame probably seemed a trivial detail to some.  However Apple…

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