Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Design Patent/Copyright Conundrum ~ Roundtable Lunch Seminar

On Thursday January 24th, we attended The Design Patent/Copyright Conundrum Roundtable Seminar organized by the Copyright Committee of Boston Patent Law Association (BPLA), where Keith Toms and Erik Paul Belt from McCarter & English presented on the differences in protection afforded by design patents, trade dress, and copyrights.  Various topics were discussed including overlap in protections (see chart below) and recent cases such as Richardson v. Stanley Works and Apple v. Samsung.

 The seminar was well attended by the area’s intellectual properly practitioners, leaving no room at the table.  Presenters inspired lively discussions among the participants on such topics as the scope of protection of Apple design patents and role of design patents in emerging issues such as 3D printing technologies.  Presenters were gracious enough to allow us to share some of the presentation slides with you. Of particular interest is this comparison chart organizing the scope of protection afforded by design patents, copyright and trade dress.

As one might expect, much of the discussion centered around Apple v. Samsung and the forthcoming appeal.  In particular, there was a great deal of discussion regarding Apple’s Design Patent No. 604,305 for a “Graphical User Interface for a Display Screen or Portion Thereof.”   Based on the discussion, it was clear that the design patent community is eagerly anticipating the Federal Circuit’s discussion with regard to this particular patent.  

We thoroughly enjoyed the presentation and the discussion and would like to thank the presenters and organizers for putting together such a relevant and engaging seminar. 

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