Monday, October 28, 2013

Design Patent Links - Oct. 28, 2013

With all eyes on the world series, it was a slow week in design patent news. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any world series-related design patents, but I did find this rather witty design for a “baseball fan…”

Lorri Cooper of Pearne & Gordon LLP has published an in-depth review of the PTO’s new design patent policy concerning dashed lines that was announced at the PTO’s Design Day 2013 by Joel Sincavage, the Design Practice Specialist of Technology Center 2900, the Patent Office. According to Ms. Cooper, design patent practitioners can protect future continuations in design patents by using the MPEP provision which allows for “a narrative description in the specification can supplement the drawing disclosure to define the scope of protection sought by the claim.” See MPEP § 1504.04. This language may point out specific features thought to be novel, and may pave the way for the future inclusion of additional dashed lines in continuations. In the wake of the Federal Circuit’s decision in In re Owens, this is precisely the type of approach which would support the written description requirement for future continuations and should be seriously considered by all design applicants. has penned an interesting article about the fact that Design Patents Are A Boon for the Fashion Industry. The articles highlights many of the unique advantages of design patents for the fashion industry, including the speed and secrecy with which a design patent application may be prosecuted before the PTO.

It was only a matter of time until design patents became a part of the medical marijuana debate. The Wall St. Journal is reporting that medical marijuana firm Cannabis Biotech, is enlisting the help of a patent attorney to seek design patent protection for a unique marijuana delivery device. Given the federal government’s stance on medicinal marijuana, it will be interesting to see how the USPTO treats an application specifically directed to marijuana delivery.

Gizbot (among others) is reporting on a unique design patent application filed by Samsung, which appears to show that Samsung is entering the smart glasses competition against Google Glass. Given that Samsung has been stung by design patents in the past, it makes sense for them to seek design patent protection of their own, and to make sure the PTO has considered prior art designs like Google Glass.

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