Complaint

Polo Ralph Lauren is on the Table

May 19, 2011
Brandon Judkins filed a complaint May 16, 2011, case number 1:11-cv-00661, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, alleging Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation has infringed U.S. D591,090.

The following images are reproduced from pages 4-5 of the complaint, where line drawings from U.S. D591,090 are shown on the left, and the top image and the right images are photos personally taken by Mr. Judkins at stores in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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Kraft Foods Sues Van Law Food Products Over Bottle

May 23, 2011

Kraft Foods filed suit against Van Law Food Products in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on May 17, 2011.  In the Complaint, Kraft Foods alleges that the bottles sold by Van Law Food Products, including those sold under the Eating Right brand (pictured below) infringe six design patents held by Kraft Foods.

Eating Right Bottles (copied from Complaint)          Kraft Bottles (Figs. 2-4 of D568,164)

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Déjà vu - Crocs sues Skechers for Design Infringement

May 24, 2011
In December of 2008, Crocs Inc. and Skechers Inc. agreed to settle patent litigation (case number 1:08-cv-01450, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado) concerning U.S. D517,789, U.S. D564,208 and U.S. D564,207.  That patent litigation concerned a line of slip-on foam clogs made by Skechers, which Crocs alleged infringed the patents.

On May 20, 2011, Crocs filed a complaint and initiated a new suit against Skechers, case number 1:11-cv-01330, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.  Crocs alleges the Swifts line introduced in the summer of 2010 by Skechers is an “obvious imitation” of Crocs’ original shoe design for the CROCBANDTMmodel footwear, which is protected by U.S. D610,784.  Crocs also alleges Skechers breached a settlement agreement of September 23, 2010, stemming from Crocs’ contact with Skechers’ around the time the Swifts line was introduced.

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Daimler Sues Over Alleged smart fortwo Knockoffs

August 18, 2011
Daimler AG filed a Complaint in the Eastern District of Michigan against Shuanghuan Automobile Company, Shuanghuan Auto USA, and Wheego Electric Cars, Inc. for trademark and trade dress infringement, trademark counterfeiting, trademark dilution, and patent infringement related to Daimler’s smart fortwo cars.  The design patents at issue are U.S. Patent Number D389,783, U.S. Patent Number D477,250, and U.S. Patent Number D549,134.





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Skechers files a complaint alleging footwear design infringement

February 7, 2012
Skechers U.S.A., Inc. filed a complaint against The Children’s Place Retail Stores, Inc., on February 2, 2012 (case number 2:2012-cv-00928 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California) alleging that Children’s Place manufactures, imports, sells, and offers to sell a line of footwear that “embodies and infringes the patented invention” disclosed in Skechers’s U.S. Design Patent D571,095.

The design patent at issue claims the ornamental design for a “crystal-covered show toe cap,” shown below.

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OAKLEY FILES SUIT AGAINST UVEX OVER SUNGLASSES PATENTS

February 10, 2012
Oakley, Inc. (“Oakley”) filed suit against Uvex Sports, Inc. (“Uvex”) on February 3, 2012, in the in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.  Oakley alleges that certain Uvex products infringe U.S. patent no. 5,638,145 (“the ‘145 patent”), D557,325 (“the D325 patent”), or D556,818 (“the D818 patent”).

Specifically, the Complaint lists Uvex’s Rage product as infringing the D325 patent.  One of the commercially available Uvex Rage glasses is shown below to the left, with Fig. 1 of the D325 patent to the right.

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NIKE files a complaint alleging footwear design infringement

February 10, 2012
NIKE, Inc. filed a complaintagainst QiLoo International Limited, a Chinese company, on February 6, 2012 (case number 2:2012-cv-00191 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada), alleging infringement of 23 U.S. design patents, listed below.

D361,884        D500,585        D546,541        D578,294

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Oakley concludes one successful enforcement suit and continues another

February 16, 2012
On February 9, 2012, Oakley, Inc., concluded a successful suit to enforce eyeglass utility and design patents in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California (Oakley v. Talitor Far East Co. Ltd et al., case no. 3:2011-cv-01305).  The complaint, filed in June of 2011, alleged infringement of Oakley’s design patent, U.S. Patent No. D523,461 (“ the D461 patent”), and utility patent, U.S Patent No. 5,387,949 (“the ‘949 patent”), by eleven named defendants.

The D461 patent claims the ornamental design for an eyeglass component, as shown below.

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Lindby Custom successfully enforces a design for motorcycle parts, but would the proposed PARTS legislation have affected the court’s ruling?

February 22, 2012
On February 15, 2012, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California entered Default Judgment in the matter of Lindby Custom, Inc. v. AMI Group (case no. 8:10-cv-01779).  In its Complaint, Lindby Custom alleged infringement of U.S. Design Patent D548,142 (“the D142 patent”), in addition to trade dress and unfair competition claims.

The D142 patent claims “the ornamental design for the combined engine guard and highway peg” for motorcycles, shown below.

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Digest of new and closed design patent cases from Feb. 6 to Mar. 16, 2012

March 16, 2012
We have found it helpful, and interesting, to track newly filed and closed design patent cases on a weekly basis.  In hope that readers of our Protecting Designs Blog might benefit as well, we have tabulated our search results over the period from February 6 to March 16, 2012, and posted them here.

During this six week period, we identified 15 newly filed cases and 20 closed cases that assert a cause of action involving a design patent.  Of the closed cases identified, the average pendency of the litigation was 0.6 years, where the maximum and minimum pendencies were 1.6 years and 4 days, respectively.

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Digest of new and closed design patent cases from Mar. 19 to April 6, 2012

April 11, 2012
In light of the positive response we received from our earlier Design Patent Digest post, we decided to post another.  A table of newly filed and closed design patent cases from March 19, 2012, to April 6, 2012, including a handful of earlier cases not identified in our previous search, is posted here.  Over this three week period, we identified 20 new cases and 10 closed cases involving a design patent.

Some cases that we found particularly interesting are mentioned below.

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Digest of new and closed design patent cases from April 9-20, 2012

April 24, 2012
Wal-Mart and Oakley were among the parties to 8 newly-filed cases and 5 closed cases involving design patents during the two-week period of April 9-20, 2012.  A tabulated summary of these cases is posted here.  Some cases that we found particularly interesting are mentioned below.

Oakley, Inc.filed suit against Great L&H Trading, Inc. in the Central District of California alleging infringement of eyewear design and utility patents.  On the same day, Great L&H Trading filed a correspondingdeclaratory judgment action in the Southern District of New York.  This new case follows other Oakley eyewear design infringement suits that we previously reported on 02/10/12, 02/16/12, and 03/12/12.  Links to the patents at issue in this case are listed below.

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Federal Circuit Reverses Dismissal in Hall v. Bed Bath & Beyond, Inc.

January 30, 2013
The Federal Circuit reversed the district court’s sua sponte dismissal of a complaint filed by Mr. Robert J. Hall for patent infringement and other claims.  The Federal Circuit opinion can be found here.

Mr. Hall accused Bed Bath & Beyond of infringing U.S. Design Patent No. D596,439 entitled “Towel Tote.” Fig. 1 from D596,439 is reproduced below.

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Beats sues Yamaha for trade dress and design patent infringement

February 15, 2013
Beats Electronics, LLC (Beats) filed a complaint against Yamaha Corporation of America (Yamaha) on February 6, 2013, in the Central District of California, alleging infringement of Beats’ design patents and trade dress.  The complaint includes a request that the court enter a judgment that requires Yamaha to deliver to Beats, for destruction, all of the alleged infringing headphones and any materials which depict the alleged infringing headphones.  The complaint demands a jury trial on all issues.

According to the complaint, counsel for Beats notified Yamaha on November 30, 2012, of its belief that the Yamaha Pro 300, Yamaha Pro 400 and Yamaha Pro 500 headphones infringe Beats patents and Beats’ trade dress rights, and the complaint alleges that the Pro 300, Pro 400 and Pro 500 headphones are “knock-offs of Beats’ world-famous ‘Studio,’ ‘Solo,’ and 'Wireless’ model headphones.”

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Yummie Tummie Sues Spanx for Design Patent Infringement

April 19, 2013
On April 2, 2013, Yummie Tummie sued fellow shapewear maker Spanx in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for patent infringement of six of its design patents.  The suit follows Yummie Tummie’s cease and desist letter from earlier this year and Spanx’s own complaint for declaratory judgment of non-infringement against Yummie Tummie filed last month in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. 

In its complaint (Case 1:13-cv-02157-AKH), Yummie Tummie asserted that Spanx’s products, including “The Total Taming Tank A226764,” the “Top This Tank Style 1847,” and “The Top This Cami Style 1846,” infringe the following U.S. design patents: D606,285; D616,627; D622,477; D623,377; D665,558; and D666,384.  The complaint did not include exhibits illustrating Spanx’s at-issue products, but Figures 1 and 3 of Yummie Tummie Design Patent D606,285 are provided below for visual context.

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Gillette Design Patent Enforcement

February 11, 2014
Over the past 6 months the Gillette Company (Gillette) has filed two different complaints asserting infringement of numerous design patents to protect several of its razor blade related products.  In the first case, Gillette recently obtained a consent judgment, illustrating the value of design patents in its patent portfolio.  The second case is ongoing.

First, on October 10, 2013, Gillette filed a complaint against BK Gifts, BK Razors, Brian Patrick, Kim Murry, and Zilo Store, Inc. (collectively, “Defendants”), in the Southern District of Ohio (Gillette Company v. BK Gifts, transferred to the Northern District of Ohio, Docket No. 3-13-cv-02241-1).

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Skyline Design Patent Complaints

February 25, 2014
Skyline USA, Inc. (Skyline) recently filed two complaints asserting infringement of a design patent directed to a combined flashlight and stun gun.

In the first complaint filed February 7, 2014, Skyline alleged infringement by Cutting Edge Products, Inc. (Cutting Edge), in the Middle District of Florida, Orlando division (6:14-cv-212-ORL-36GJK).

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Mulch v. Novel - Request for Declaratory Judgment

March 14, 2014
International Mulch Company, Inc. (Mulch) filed a complaint requesting declaratory judgment against Novel Ideas, Inc. (Novel) in the Eastern District of Missouri Eastern Division on March 11, 2014 (4-14-cv-00446).

In the complaint, Mulch requested a Declaratory Judgment of patent non-infringement and invalidity of two design patents owned by Novel, US D640,268 (’268) and US D654,191 (’191), both directed to flexible landscape edging.

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Ugg! Deckers' Design Patent Infringement Claim Is Not Kicked to the Curb

September 15, 2014
On September 8, 2014, Judge Otis D. Wright, II, U.S. Dist. Ct., C.D. Calif., issued an Order keeping alive a claim for design patent infringement while booting other asserted claims in a Motion to Dismiss under F.R.C.P. 12(b)(6). See Deckers Outdoor Corp. v. J.C. Penney Co., Inc., C.D. Cal., Case No. 2:14-cv-02565-ODW(MANx) (“Order Granting in Part Motion to Dismiss with Partial Leave to Amend,” Doc. 30, Sept. 8, 2014).

Deckers Outdoor Corporation (“Deckers”) is known for its famous UGG® sheepskin and suede boots, among other products, sold online and at retail stores throughout the U.S. According to Deckers, its UGG® line of boots began a metaphorical ascent into the stratosphere after being featured on Oprah Winfrey’s television show in 2000, when Oprah supposedly “emphatically declared … how much she ‘LOOOOOVES her UGG boots.’” See First Amended Complaint, Doc. 18, ¶ 12. This ascent continued, as many well-heeled celebrities embraced the boots and were photographed wearing them. With such a stamp of fashion approval, one can easily understand that Deckers would do whatever it could to protect its valuable image, brand, and products from harm by imitators seeking to capitalize on Deckers’ success.
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Riddell Sues Rawlings for Infringement of Design Patent Directed to Sports Helmet

January 8, 2015
Riddell, Inc. (“Riddell”) filed a complaint against Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc. (“Rawlings”) in the Northern District of Illinois alleging infringement of various patents related to sports equipment, including U.S. Pat. No. D603,100to a Sports Helmet. Figures from the patent are provided below.
RiddellFig1RiddellFig4















The complaint alleges that the claimed design is infringed by Rawlings’ sports helmets, including at least the Tachyon, Impulse, Quantum, Momentum, and Force model name football helmets and the baseball helmets identified with S100, S90, S80, and S70 series name.
RawlingsQuantumRawlingsS90PA
    Rawlings Quantum                      Rawlings S90PA

The complaint did not include images of the allegedly infringing helmets. However, the Rawlings helmets above, which were found via an online search, appear to have the same names as those listed in the complaint.

Interestingly, the complaint alleges that Rawlings had knowledge of U.S. Pat. No. D603,100, for example, because it was cited on Rawlings’ U.S. Pat. No. D699,895.
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