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04.22.16

Korean Companies Make the Case for Design Patents While the Bigger One Asks the US Supreme Court to Shoot Some of Them Down

Posted in America, Asia, Courtroom, GNU/Linux, Google, Patents at 8:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Reaching the conclusion that these patents (related to software patents) are excessive and counterproductive?

Samsung phone

Summary: In spite of amassing many design patents of its own, Samsung is willing to intercept/undermine all of them, in order to shoot down Apple’s demands against Android/Linux

THE United States’ patent office, the USPTO, continues to grant design patents, which are rather controversial in Europe.

Design patentees by scale/number have just been presented by Patently-O, which said: “Design patents continue to be a popular protection scheme for developers of consumer products and screen displays. Top ten assignees thus-far in 2016 with most recent examples…”

“Samsung has not (historically at least) been aggressive with patents.”It’s Samsung at the top, then LGE (which Apple was often accused of copying — design-wise — when it first introduced the iPhone). Both are Korean companies and one comment rightly points out: “One might not be surprised to notice Samsung highly aware of the potent properties of design patents.” Samsung currently challenges the potency of such patents, taking it all the way up to the Supreme Court. If anything, this may indicate that Samsung only begrudgingly patents designs, maybe in the hope of leveling these for defensive purposes when companies like Apple strike (with nuclear connotations). Samsung has not (historically at least) been aggressive with patents.

“A Federal Circuit ruling has placed Coleman Co. in a stronger position to sue a competitor for infringement of its design patent relating to personal flotation devices.”
      –Bloomberg BNA
Harness, Dickey & Pierce, PLC, a lawyers’ firm (obviously), has just published this article about design patent constriction as figures about design patents suggest a sharp increase amid a SCOTUS case about/against it. As we explained here a few times before, many design patents are similar and related to software patents (interfaces in particular). Their very existence is challenged in courts again, as this new article serves to show. It seems as though once again it’s CAFC deciding on the matter. To quote: “A Federal Circuit ruling has placed Coleman Co. in a stronger position to sue a competitor for infringement of its design patent relating to personal flotation devices.”

The fate of design patents has billions at stake; not just billions of dollars/pounds/yen but also billions of people.

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