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.


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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.


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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.



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An interesting article on design patents has been recently written by Jason DuMont of the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property & Competition Law and Mark Janis of the Indiana University Maurer School of Law.  The article, entitled “The Origins of American Design Protection,” traces the origins and progression of U.S. design protection, and calls for a return of design protection in the U.S. back to its roots (although the U.S. Congress is not currently contemplating any such changes).

The Abstract of the article is as follows:


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We’ve discussed Apple’s ongoing litigation with Samsung here and here involving Apple’s design patents and trade dress.  This litigation is a battle being fought within a bigger international war between major technology companies, and illustrates how design rights can be a useful weapon within a well-rounded legal arsenal.

Within this context, today comes word that Apple and Nokia have agreed to a settlement of all patent litigation between the companies.  The agreement includes a one-time payment and ongoing royalties to be paid by Apple.  Though specific amount and length details of the settlement agreement are not disclosed, the amount of the settlement has been reported to be large enough to materially improve Nokia’s quarterly earnings.


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