The beauty industry is ever changing, and makeup trends and viral product releases can drastically increase a company’s profits.  However, without proper legal protection, competitors can quickly replicate a product, eating into those profits. 

In this post, we will address how design patents and trade dress can be employed to provide protection for various beauty-related tools and products.Continue Reading Protecting the Product: Beauty Products

As we’ve written about in prior posts, it’s possible under U.S. trademark law for distinctive visual element(s) to become a trademark, i.e., an identifier of source for a particular party’s goods or services.Continue Reading The Blue Turf of Boise State: On “Service” Dress and the Creation of Source Identification

The USPTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”) recently ordered the cancellation of two trademark registrations for product configurations of safety helmets, shown below and both directed to “… a three dimensional configuration of two ridges located along the center of a safety helmet….”Continue Reading Safety Helmet Product Configuration Trademark Registrations Demolished by Lack of Evidence of Acquired Distinctiveness

While copyright law is at the center of a few recent disputes over intellectual property protection for typefaces and fonts, design patents are an often-overlooked mechanism for protecting these designs. Those who develop or license fonts will benefit from the following summary of the available protections for the visual appearance of typefaces and fonts, which includes novel “emoji” sets.
Continue Reading Protecting the Product™: Typefaces and Fonts

China’s Copyright Law protects “works of literature, art, natural science, social science, engineering technology and the like which are expressed in the following forms: (1) written works; (2) oral works; (3) musical, dramatic, theatrical, choreographic and acrobatic artworks; (4) works of the fine arts and architecture; (5) pictorial and photographic works; (6) audiovisual works; (7) graphic works such as drawings of engineering designs, product designs, maps and sketches, etc.; (8) computer software; and (9) other intellectual achievements conforming to the characteristics of the works.” China’s copyright law protects the expression of ideas instead of ideas themselves, which is similar to U.S. copyright law.
Continue Reading Protecting Product and Packaging Designs in China Part II – Copyright

Like the United States, China offers protection for 2D and 3D designs of products and packaging, which is often known by U.S. consumers and practitioners as “trade dress.” This four-part miniseries of posts provides a birds-eye view of protections available in China for two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) design elements of products or packaging under trademark, copyright, design patent, and anti-unfair competition laws. It focuses on the similarities and dissimilarities of different aspects of intellectual property (IP) law in China and how they interact with each other.
Continue Reading Protecting Product and Packaging Designs in China Part I – Trademarks

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California recently determined that the owner of the iconic Dr. Martens trade dress—a famous design that has been used for more than three decades—was entitled to a permanent injunction against ITX USA for its use of footwear designs that are similar to the overall visual impression of the Dr. Martens trade dress.
Continue Reading Dr. Martens Kicks Infringers to the Curb

This is the first article in a planned series that will analyze available design protection strategies for various categories of products.

Now that the era of work-from-anywhere and software-for-any-service has fully arrived, obtaining proper legal protection for software is paramount for many companies.  However, due to an expansive interpretation by courts of the “abstract idea” exception to utility patent eligibility in recent years, protection for software-based systems and methods via utility patents has been made difficult.  Accordingly, companies in this space should look to employ design-related rights to protect their software.

In this post, we will address how design patent, copyright, and trademark laws can be employed  to provide protection for software-based designs.
Continue Reading Protecting the Product™: Software

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 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