Wednesday
Jul132011

Update on Apple v. Samsung

Further to our coverage of the ongoing Apple v. Samsung litigation, Apple filed a motion for preliminary injunction on July 1, 2011.  Apple also filed motions for an expedited trial and for shortening the time for the briefing process in the expedited trial.

On July 12, 2011, Judge Lucy Koh denied the motion to shorten time.  However, the motion for preliminary injunction and motion for an expedited trial are still pending.

From the order of July 12, 2011:

"The Court agrees that Apple has not established substantial harm or prejudice justifying a shortened briefing and hearing schedule for its Motion to Expedite."

Further, "Apple indicated at the May 12, 2011 hearing that it had been aware of its infringement claims for at least a year and engaged in negotiations with Samsung during that time.... The Court agrees with Samsung that the length of time Apple has been aware of its claims and the long history of infringement alleged in the complaint undermine Apple's claims of urgency to some extent."

Wednesday
Jul132011

Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act

The Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet has scheduled a Hearing on H.R. 2511, the "Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act," [IDPPPA] for Friday 7/15/2011 at 10:00 A.M.

We previously posted on the IDPPPA and we will post a follow-up on Friday with details of the Hearing.

UPDATE 7/14/2011

We now have a copy of HR 2511, published July 13, 2011.  This bill proposes an amendment to 17 USC 1301 et seq.

Of note, the bill adds the following language to 17 USC 1301:

"Fashion Design.-A fashion design is subject to protection under this chapter."

A fashion design, as defined in the bill, is the appearance as a whole of an article of apparel, including its ornamentation, and includes original elements or the original arrangement of elements as incorporated into the overall appearance of the article that:

"are the result of a designer's own creative endeavor," and

"provide a unique, distinguishable, non-trivial and non-utilitarian variation over prior designs for similar types of articles."

The term 'apparel' is given a broad meaning, and 'substantially identical' is defined as an article "which is so similar in appearance as to be likely to be mistaken for the protected design, and contains only those differences in construction or design which are merely trivial."

It should be noted, however, that the "presence or absence of a particular color or colors or of a pictorial or graphic work imprinted on fabric shall not be considered in determining the protection of a fashion design ... or in determining infringement...."

A protected fashion design continues for 3 years beginning on the date of commencement of protection under Section 1304, which states the date is the date the design was first made public.  'Registration' will not apply to fashion designs.

An "infringing article" is defined as any article which has been copied from a protected design, or from an image thereof, without consent.  An article is not considered "copied" when it is not substantially identical in overall visual appearance to the original elements of the protected design or when it is the result of independent creation.

Also, it is not considered infringement to make, have made, import, sell, offer for sale, advertise, or distribute an article which was created without knowledge a design was protected and the article was copied from such design.  Accordingly, unknowing retailers appear to be protected from liability, and there does not appear to be any liability for end-consumers.

Friday
Jul012011

Samsung files ITC complaint against Apple

As reported in the ITC blog, Samsung filed an ITC complaint against Apple on June 28, 2011, alleging certain electronic devices, including wireless communication devices, portable music and data processing devices, and tablet computers infringe one or more claims of U.S. 7,706,348, 7,486,644, 6,771,980, 6,879,843, and 7,450,114.

Presumably, this ITC complaint relates to the ongoing dispute we have been covering between Samsung and Apple.

Tuesday
Jun282011

ITC Investigates Certain Protective Cases and Components Thereof

As reported on Oblon’s ITC blog, the U.S. International Trade Commission  (“ITC”) has instituted an investigation in response to a complaint filed by Otter Products, LLC alleging violation of Section 337 in the importation into the U.S. and sale of certain protective cases and components thereof that infringe certain U.S. patents and trademarks.  The complaint identifies twenty-nine respondents, including Alibaba.com and other Chinese and American companies.

The asserted design patents are U.S. Design Patent Nos. D600,908, D617,784, D615,536, D617,785, D634,741, and D636,386.  According to the complaint, these design patents “protect the ornamental features of Otter Products’ unique protective case designs for handheld electronic devices, including smart phones, tablet computers, and other mobile devices.”  Some of the figures from these patents are reproduced below.

 

The following were identified in the complaint as some of the respondents’ protective cases and components thereof:

Monday
Jun272011

Famous Industrial Designs Featured in New Stamp Set

From the website of the United States Postal Service:

The Pioneers of American Industrial Design (Forever®) stamp pane honors 12 of the nation's most important and influential industrial designers. Encompassing everything from furniture and electric kitchen appliances to corporate office buildings and passenger trains, the work of these designers helped shape the look of everyday life in the 20th century.

Each stamp features the name of a designer and a photograph of an object created by the designer, as well as a description of the object and the year or years when the object was created. The selvage features a photograph of the "Airflow" fan designed by Robert Heller around 1937.