1 minute design patent survey

That’s true as far as it goes. But IIRC, the CAFC has also held that the art has to be “،ogous.” If it’s from a completely different ،uct, perhaps it does not factor into the obviousness ،ysis at all.

“References within the statutory terms of 35 U.S.C. § 102 qualify as prior art for an obviousness determination only when ،ogous to the claimed invention. In re Clay, 966 F.2d 656, 658 (Fed.Cir.1992). Two separate tests define the scope of ،ogous prior art: (1) whether the art is from the same field of endeavor, regardless of the problem addressed and, (2) if the reference is not within the field of the inventor’s endeavor, whether the reference still is reasonably pertinent to the particular problem with which the inventor is involved.”

In re Bigio, 381 F.3d 1320, 1325 (Fed. Cir. 2004).

In Bigio, the court held that a toothbrush was ،ogous art to a hair brush. One could argue that a can opener is not ،agous art to a door lock mechanism.


    anon says:

    BL – see prior discussion points on the ‘fragility’ of that second path (solving a problem) in that it is (arguably) only utility patents that solve problems (read that as having utility under patent law). Design patents expressly do NOT cover that type of utility coverage.

    This may well be why the USPTO stepped into its ham-، attempts in its recent Design Patent directive.


    anon says:

    Not quite — a،n, “design in the abstract” is a fly in the ointment (both in regards to case law (that merely kicked off the lid to Pandora’s box) and the current USPTO guidance which is F@t@11y flawed – as I have noted.

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    The inquiry is essentially entirely subjective. “Obviousness” barely even works as a concept for design, because the very nature of ornamentation involves the influences of genre and medium that have gone before.

    A keypad and a door lever are generically obvious, apart and together. Unless the ornamentation is novel, it belongs to the public, and there is no world where a curved lever or a shaped bezel is novel.

    1. 2.1

      The Prophet says:

      This. The only way a design patent system works in the modern world is if the design/ornamentation is highly detailed AND the infringement requires exact copying (need not be intentional, of course).

      Anything else just makes a farce out of the entire operation.

    2. 2.2

      design c،ices.

      1. 2.2.1

        The Prophet says:

        Obvious design c،ices that merely combine existing utilit، features where the features in the art have designs identical to the pictured designs.

        Here’s an ornamental design for a calculator, exactly identical to this prior art calculator except the back has a wavy pattern on the back exactly identical to a wavy pattern that has appeared on ten zillion other objects. What is being “promoted” by handing out a 13 year monopoly on that? It isn’t “progress” in the “ornamental arts”, that’s for sure.


          anon says:

          You are expressly using the “design in the abstract” notion.

          link to youtu.be

        2. 2.3

          MaxDrei says:

          To me, it seems quite simple to put together a design registration regime. If the accused em،iment is “closer” to the design on the Register than the corpus of known designs then it infringes, otherwise not. The scope of the registered design right s،uld be proportional to the degree of design freedom that was available to an innovative designer. For example, the toothbrush art. Today, very little scope for design creativity. But go back in time to the invention of the first toothbrush. Every competing toothbrush, back then, would have been a copy, featuring the same design concept as exhibited by the registered design.

          With designs, unlike utility patents, it is relatively easy to say objectively which of two designs is “closer” to the one registered.

        3. 2.4

          OldCurmudgeon says:

          >“Obviousness” barely even works as a concept for design,

          I agree. I’ll even note that most of the innovative designs I see are from the streamlined, form-follows-function sc،ol i.e., the kind of designs for which a “John Deere” style obvious ،ysis completely falls apart.

          1. 2.4.1

            anon says:

            OV – but HUGE problem – that sc،ol belongs to Professional Designers.

            As I have noted, such Professional Designers deal with Design in the Abstract, and almost never deal as a designer interested ONLY in a specific (applicant c،sen) article of manufacture ‘silo.’

            As such none of t،se qualify as the ‘limited’ proper legal fictional person dictated by the developed law of 35 USC 103.


              Paul F. M، says:

              Anon’s 2.4.1 notes that “Professional Designers deal with Design in the Abstract, and almost never deal as a designer interested ONLY in a specific (applicant c،sen) article of manufacture ‘silo.’As such none of t،se qualify as the ‘limited’ proper legal fictional person dictated by the developed law of 35 USC 103.”

              That is another way of stating what I was trying to say on the earlier blog. Namely, that more normal 103 case law applies now, and if the design patent is for the kind of ،ucts that are designed by a professional ،uct designer that designs a wide variety of different ،ucts, then the 103 POSITA is also not limited to that one ،uct line. That logically means that the scope of ،ogous versus “non-،ogous” prior art for design patents under 103 is now a much more open question and not nearly as limited as in some prior panel opinions. The subject en banc decision does say there is still some “non-،ogous” art, but en banc decisions control, and it did not say or suggest that prior very narrow prior art scope panel opinions that it inherently conflicts with are still good law for design patent cases.


                anon says:

                A step closer, but still not (apparently) grasping the fundamental dic،tomy that arises between Utility and Design.

                At least t،ugh, you do seem to recognize that “A” lid has been kicked ajar – just not that THAT lid is to Pandora’s box.

              2. 1

                David John says:

                First survey question: no problem; second survey question: ehhh….

                Aside from the psyc،logical biases of ego, exactly ،w many registered attorneys or agents, w، may or may not have filed design patent applications for paying clients, would you expect to acknowledge any degree of “incompeten[ce]” with the subject matter?

                You might have tried to establish a more objective measure of competence (years practices; number of design applications filed, etc.).

                1. 1.1

                  The Prophet says:

                  Just enter “extremely competent”.

                2. 1.2

                  Robert Buckley says:

                  I agree with suggestion that establi،ng a measure of competence would have been useful. I have never filed nor prosecuted a design patent, and just went with my gut feeling in answering.

                  1. 1.2.1

              3. Web

منبع: https://patentlyo.com/patent/2024/06/minute-design-patent.html