The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a notice in the Federal Register on December 21, 2020, requesting comments from the public related to the “article of manufacture” requirement for design patent eligibility appearing in Title 35, United States Code, Section 171. In particular, the USPTO asked whether the article of manufacture requirement should be revised to encompass “disembodied” designs made perceptible by new and emerging technologies. The comment period closed on February 04, 2021, with a total of 19 public comments received. Continue Reading Quick Take on Results of USPTO Request for Comments on Article of Manufacture Requirement for Designs

The Federal Circuit’s recent decision in Super-Sparkly Safety Stuff, LLC v. Skyline USA, Inc. reinforces best practices for design patent enforcement and procurement. An important takeaway from this decision is that when enforcing design patents in litigation, patent owners should develop record evidence from fact and expert witnesses to assist the court in the ordinary observer analysis to ensure that motions for summary judgment of non-infringement are decided with a sufficient record. Another important consideration for design patent holders is that when protecting designs, rights holders should consider robust filing strategies to protect iterative and varying aspects of important designs. These strategies may help companies avoid early judgment of non-infringement when they enforce their design patents by limiting the options of a defendant during the early stages of litigation. Continue Reading Pepper Spray Manufacturer’s Successful Self-Defense Reinforces Best Practices for Design Patents

The United Kingdom (UK) officially withdrew from the European Union (EU) in early 2020, which commenced a transitional period that expired on December 31, 2020. During this transitional period, the UK remained subject to the EU Design System and the design laws of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). However, as of January 1, 2021, the UK is no longer subject to the EUIPO design regime. Continue Reading Brexit’s Impact on European Design Registrations

The end-of-year shopping season started strong in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions that kept many consumers in their homes and buying online. Brand owners and sellers should thus be mindful of the various options at their disposal to stop counterfeit goods from stealing legitimate e-sales and disappointing unsuspecting consumers who are unable to inspect goods when purchasing online. Continue Reading Tips and Tools for Sellers to Combat Online Counterfeits During the Holiday Shopping Season

Since April 1949, when legendary golfer Sam Snead took the top prize, the winner of the annual Masters Tournament has been awarded a green blazer with gold buttons on the front and sleeves.

Now, after more than 70 years of use, that color configuration as applied to a jacket—as shown in the mark image below—has become a federally-registered trademark. Continue Reading Augusta National Blazes a Trail to Registration of its Iconic Green Jacket 

Two recent decisions by the Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) highlight the nuances of allowable and impermissible drawing amendments during prosecution of U.S. design patent applications, and provide important guidance to design patent applicants on how to prepare their applications to ensure maximum flexibility during prosecution. Continue Reading Recent PTAB Guidance on Permissible Drawing Amendments for U.S. Design Applications 

Paisley Park Enterprises, Inc., the music publishing company founded by the late artist Prince, recently obtained a federal trademark registration for the purple color shown below known as “Love Symbol #2” in the Pantone Matching System.  The registration covers music, video, and motion picture-related recording goods in International Class 009.

Continue Reading Prince’s Estate Makes it Rain Purple on the USPTO 

The China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) has recently published a Fourth Revision to the patent laws of the People’s Republic of China, and included in those revisions are several updates that help move Chinese design patent law towards harmonization with the laws of most other major markets. In particular, the following revisions—which will come into effect on June 1, 2021—are the most relevant for Chinese design patent applicants and design patent holders:

Continue Reading New Revisions to Chinese Patent Law Increase Design Patent Harmonization