Monday, April 25, 2016

Sport Dimension v. Coleman Company - Federal Circuit Seeks to Clarify Functionality

Last week, the Federal Circuit issued an opinion in Sport Dimension, Inc. v. The Coleman Company, Inc., No. 15-1533 (Fed. Cir. Apr. 19, 2016), seeking to clarify how courts may properly construe design claims containing significant functional aspects.  The court's decision adds some weight behind last year's Federal Circuit decision in Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. v. Covidien, Inc., and answers a few additional questions related to design patent functionality.

In order to explain this case, we first have to see the problem.  To do that, we begin by looking back to the Federal Circuit's 2010 decision, Richardson v. Stanley Works, Inc.  That case concerned design patent D507,167 for a multi-function tool, and an alleged infringing tool designed by Stanley, as shown below:

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Design Day Report from the Front Lines Slides

We've had a few requests for the slides from yesterday's Design Day - Report From the Front Lines presentation.  We're happy to share them with the usual disclaimers.  This presentation was prepared for educational purposes only and does not represent the opinions of either the U.S.P.T.O. or Lando & Anastasi.  Nor can we guarantee the accuracy of the underlying data presented, which was gathered from third party sources.

Here is a link to view and download the slides.

If you re-post or use the slides, please be sure to give credit to William Seymour of Lando & Anastasi, LLP and the Ordinary Observer design patent blog.


Monday, April 18, 2016

USPTO Requests Comments on Proposed Written Description Guidance for Design Patents

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued a Request for Comments on its proposed guidance to patent examiners regarding the written description requirement in Section 112 of the Patent Act with respect to design patents.  The proposed guidance would address situations where an amended or continuing application claims only a subset of the elements disclosed in an earlier or original application.  In other words, in the example below, if the original claim comprised the images on the left, can the amended claim cover only the subset of elements shown in solid lines on the right?