On August 14, 2013, Toyo Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd. of Japan filed a new complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.  In summary, Toyo alleges 22 proposed Respondents infringe Toyo's design patents with one or more tire models, as follows (see pp. 41-42 of the complaint).




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According to the Notice of August 9, 2013, the ITC determined that Apple has proven a violation of Section 337 with respect to US 7,479,949 and 7,912,501, but that no violation has been proven with respect to US D618,678 and US D558,757.  Specifically, the Notice at p. 3 states:

[T]he Commission has determined that Apple has not proven a violation based on alleged infringement of the D’678, the D’757, the ‘922, and the ‘697 patents.  Specifically, the Commission has determined that the asserted claim of the D’678 patent is valid but not infringed, and that Apple’s iPhone, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s practice the D’678 patent, but not the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS.  The Commission has also determined that the asserted claim of the D’757 patent is valid but not infringed, and Apple’s iPhone 3G and 3GS do not practice the D’757 patent. 
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The Commission has further determined that Apple has proven a domestic industry exists in the United States relating to articles protected by the D’678, the ’922 and the ’697 patents, but not the D’757 patent.


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Following up on our earlier post, Keurig’s suit against Rogers Family Co. (“Rogers”) has been dismissed on summary judgment.  The district court granted Rogers’ motion for summary judgment of non-infringement of U.S. Patent No. D502,362 and two utility patents.

In a Memorandum and Order on Summary Judgment (“Order”), the court compared the accused product with the claimed design in order to determine if the two are plainly dissimilar.  The following is a comparison provided on page 12 of the Order:


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On May 23, 2013, the IPO held a webinar on its IP Chat Channel called "Design Patent Prosecution: Advanced Topics," hosted by Pamela Sherrid.

Katie Maksym, design patent manager for Nike, Inc. first presented "Best Practice Tips from the Field of Play." Ms. Maksym highlighted the role of infringement awareness as a source of information to draft claims.


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The 7th annual Design Day took place on April 23, at the USPTO. In attendance were about 80 USPTO employees, and roughly 200 exterior stakeholders. Robert Spear, Supervisory Patent Examiner for Technology Center 2900 ("TC 2900"), was the Master of Ceremonies. The theme for Design Day 2013 was “Designs in the New Digital Age.”

To start the day, Margaret Focarino, Commissioner for Patents at the USPTO, gave an overview of the goals for TC 2900. She noted that for the second year in a row, the focus for TC 2900 was on eliminating the case backlog for filings prior to October 2011. Progress was acknowledged. With this goal in mind, and an increase in design filings, Ms. Focarino indicated that Examiners may be added to TC 2900.


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