Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Design Patent Links - Nov. 19, 2013

We start this week’s design patent links with a story from the lighter side of design patent litigation… and shapewear… Jenny B. Davis of the ABA Journal has penned an epic poem about the Spanx v. Yummie Tummie design patent fight. It’s a funny read for anyone interested in design patents, shapewear, or reality TV. For everyone else, it will just be strange and confusing…

Amaya Singh of the Indian IP firm, Lex Orbis, has authored an interesting article on the differences between U.S. design patent law and that of India. One interesting fact about Indian design patent law is that designs are still judged for aesthetic value. Ms. Singh explains that Indian design patents must be “‘Judged solely by the eye’ [which] has been interpreted to mean that every design is to be looked at for an ‘eye appeal’, i.e. the aesthetic value of the design needs to be gauged.”

China IPR is reporting that the Chinese Patent Office is considering draft regulations that would allow for design patent protection for graphical user interfaces. Currently, the Chinese Patent Office does not allow such design patents.

Here in the United States, design patents for graphical user interfaces continues to be a source of debate. This week, PatentlyO published a guest post by Michael Risch, Professor of Law at Villanova University School of Law regarding “Functionality and Graphical User Interface Design Patents.” The post is a preview of Professor Risch’s article in the Stanford Technology Law Review, in which he takes the position that functional elements of GUI’s should be excluded from design patent protection.

Last week, Richmond School of law hosted their seventh Annual Evil Twin Debate in the law school's moot court room. This year’s debate featured Professor Mark Janis of Indiana University's Maurer School of Law and Professor Andrew Torrance of the University of Kansas School of Law. They debated the topic Design Patents: Great Idea, or Greatest Idea? The law school has posted video of the debate in years past, and we will add a link to the debate as soon as it becomes available.

The California Patent Litigation blog discusses Intellectual Property Owner’s Association 2013 IP Record, and its potential implications for design patent litigation. Apparently, there were 658 more design patent applications filed in 2012 than in 2011 and that number is likely to grow again in 2013.

Check back next week for more design patent links! And don’t forget to sign up for Suffolk Law School’s design patent conference this Friday! See you there.

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