Entries in designs patents (6)

Monday
Feb062012

New proposed legislation to create design patent infringement exceptions for motor vehicle parts

On February 2, 2012, Representatives Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), members of the House Judiciary Committee, introduced H.R. 3889, a bill entitled the Promoting Automotive Repair, Trade, and Sales (PARTS) Act.

The proposed bill would create exceptions from acts of infringement under 35 USC 271 for certain component parts of motor vehicles.  Under the PARTS Act, with respect to a design patent that claims a component part of a motor vehicle as originally manufactured,it shall not be an act of infringement of such design patent to make or offer to sell within the United States, or import into the United States, any article of manufacture that is similar or the same in appearance to the component part that is claimed in such design patent if the purpose of such article of manufacture is for the repair of a motor vehicle so as to restore such vehicle to its appearance as originally manufactured.”

Further, “after the expiration of a period of 30 months beginning on the first day on which any such component part is first offered to the public for sale as part of a motor vehicle in any country, it shall not be an act of infringement of such design patent to use or sell within the United States any article of manufacture that is similar or the same in appearance to the component part that is claimed in such design patent if the purpose of such article of manufacture is for the repair of a motor vehicle so as to restore such vehicle to its appearance as originally manufactured.”

Similar bills have been previously proposed, without success.  Supporters of such reform argue that such legislation will lower cost for automobile repairs.  Not surprisingly, the insurance industry endorses such efforts.  Opponents of such bills point to the cost of developing quality parts, well designed to safely function as needed and to appeal to consumers at the same time.  The opponents believe that allowing anyone to knock off these parts would not help the auto industry in this country.

Monday
Nov212011

Apple v. Samsung: "Design Around" in Germany

On November 16, 2011, FOSS Patents reported on Samsung releasing an updated version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 with a revised visual design.  This updated version is expected to available for sale in Germany shortly.

The revised tablet is now called the Galaxy Tab 10.1N.  Does this N refer to Non-infringing?

MOBIFLIP.de posted the image below comparing of the 10.N (top) and the 10.1 (bottom).

Most notable in the above images, the bezel on the N is more pronouced.  The bezel on the N has relatively large left and right sides.  Further, as more clearly shown in the image below reproduced from Engadget, speaker ports are provided on the left and right sides of the bezel.

Will these changes be enough to overcome Apple's European Community Design No. 000181607-0001?

Representative images from the Community Design are provided below.  The Community Design relates to U.S. D504,899, and shows a bezel which appears to be narrow than that of the 10.1N, at least along the sides.  Additionally, there does not appear to be any speaker ports provided in the side bezel.

 

Friday
Nov182011

Crocs, Inc. files complaint against Walgreen Co. alleging footwear design infringement

Crocs, Inc. filed a complaint against Walgreen Co. in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado on November 11, 2011.  The complaint alleges that Walgreen “manufactures, uses, offers for sale, sells, and/or imports molded footwear throughout the United States” that infringe a design patent (U.S. Patent No. D610,784, hereinafter “the ‘784 patent”) and a utility patent (U.S. Patent No. 6,993,858 B2) assigned to Crocs.  In particular, the complaint alleges that the “Caribbean Cartel” footwear sold by Walgreen are “obvious imitations of well-known and successful Crocs styles.”  Although the specific designs of the alleged infringing footwear are unknown, images of Caribbean Cartel The Lost Pirates footwear, taken from eBay.com (last visited Nov. 16, 2011), are shown below.  Figure 1 from U.S. D610,784 is shown to the right.

Crocs’ most recent complaint, against Walgreen, follows successful enforcement of similar design patents against other defendants, as we previously discussed here and here.  Additionally, the ITC blog has discussed Crocs’ proceedings before the International Trade Commission. 

Friday
Nov112011

Keurig Sues Rogers Family Co. Over Single-Serve Coffee Container Design

Keurig has filed suit against Rogers Family Co. (“Rogers”) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts alleging that beverage containers sold by Rogers infringe one design patent and two utility patents.  The complaint states that the beverage containers sold by Rogers, such as its “OneCups,” are for use with Keurig’s single-serve brewers. The design patent in suit is U.S. Patent No. D502,362. 

A copy of Fig. 1 from the ’362 patent and a picture of the OneCup from Rogers’s website, which was accessed via a hyperlink in the complaint, are reproduced above.

Wednesday
Aug032011

Apple v. Samsung: Showdown at the ITC

As reported in the ITC Blog, on August 2, 2011, the ITC instituted an investigation concerning Samsung's alleged infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,479,949, RE 41,922, 7,863,533, 7,789,697, 7,912,501, D558,757 and D618,678.  This investigation is the result of a complaint filed on July 5, 2011, and a supplemental letter filed on July 22, 2011, by Apple.

Figs. 1 and 2 of U.S. D558,757 (left) and D618,678 (right) are reproduced below.

This follows the ITC instituting an investigation on July 27, 2011, concerning Apple's alleged infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,706,348, 7,486,644, 6,771,980, 6,879,843 and 7,450,114.  This investigation is also reported in the ITC Blog, and is the result of a complaint filed on June 27, 2011, and supplemental letters filed on July 7 and 15, 2011, by Samsung.