To find out lesser known facts about design patents and identify examples of design patent law cases, each of which had a different gotcha, unexpected outcome, or exemplified a lesser known aspect of design patent law.
As a result of the court’s response, intellectual property litigants may be increasingly addressing design patents and design patent litigations may be getting lengthier, resulting in the filing of more design patent cases.
Notably, in the United States, it has long been the case that design patent infringement is not avoided by “labeling.”
However, while responding to this case, the court decided that this precedent does not necessarily preclude design patent infringement for a product having a logo in a different position. Rather, this is seen as a “material issue of fact” that must be decided by a jury.
In another design patent case, titled ‘Young Vs Stone’, plaintiff Roger Young sued Anne Stone, Inc. for infringement of U.S. Design Patent No. D442,661, entitled “Golf Putting Practice Hole Simulator.”
In general, while considering motions under Rule 12(c), courts accept all well-pleaded allegations in the complaint as true and draw all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff’s favor.
However, in this case, the court referenced the Twiqbal standard for dismissal, requiring that a plaintiff must plead sufficient facts to state a claim of relief that is plausible on its face.
In another notable case in the area of design patent law, the Federal Circuit reversed the grant of summary judgment of invalidity, vacated the claim construction, and affirmed the grant of summary judgment of non infringement.
As opined by the Federal Circuit, the district court’s grant of summary judgment as to invalidity was improper for two reasons: (1) the finding of functionality was unsupported by the evidence;and (2) the district court used “too high of a level of abstraction” in evaluating functionality.