10.06.17

Gemini version available ♊︎

Design Patents Should Not Exist, Trademarks and Copyrights Already Cover Designs

Posted in Apple, Patents, Samsung at 3:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Zach Snyder is listed as an “Inventor” of this:

Zach Snyder patent

Summary: The absurdity of broad patents on design ideas which are about as ludicrous as patents on paintings or sketch arts

WE have, for a long time, said that patents on designs should not exist. Trademark law already covers designs, sometimes copyright law covers these too.

This new book title irked us a little. Patently-O promoted it yesterday. The book’s name, “Design Rights”, is misleading. These are not “rights” per se. We often see words like assets, property, rights, protection etc. misused. Patently-O misuses these words too.

“The book walks through design protection available the various global regions,” Patently-O wrote, “US, Europe, Japan, China, India, S.America, etc – and is designed to help practitioners both understand the law and get started on strategy.”

It talks about “practitioners”, i.e. those who make a living not from designs but from telling designers that they need patents.

Design patents too often (more often than not) look like satirical ones. Patently-O gave this example the other day and even Crouch made fun/poked at it. To quote: [via]

Don’t stare too deeply into the pattern above – it embodies Columbia Sportswear’s U.S. Design Patent No. D657093 – covering “the ornamental design of a heat reflective material, as shown and described.” The recent $3 million jury verdict in Columbia Sportsware v. Seirus Innovative Accessories appears to be the first post-Samsung verdict on design patent damages.

Look at it. Ridiculous! How can that be monopolised? It’s almost outrageous.

The Samsung verdict Crouch alludes to is the Apple case, which revolves around a ridiculous design patent dispute. There’s an update on the case in this post from Florian Müller:

Just this week, the Wall Street Journal reported on the high-volume business Apple is doing with Samsung, a key supplier of components for various products including the new flagship iPhone, the iPhone X, on which Samsung will reportedly make $110 per unit. But as device makers, the two remain fierce competitors–and adversaries in court.

And on the design patents:

In the famous design patents case, the DoJ agreed with Samsung on the key legal question (article of manufacture). It additionally brought up a procedural question that could have enabled Apple to defend the original damages award. Now, with respect to the more recent petition relating to invalidity, injunctive relief, and infringement, the DoJ cautiously distances itself from the en banc opinion and indicates only between the lines that it may disagree, to some extent, from a policy perspective (“rigid rules for demonstrating obviousness” etc.). It would have been nice if the DoJ had been clearer about the implications of this for U.S. tech companies and for the work of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, which is supposed to protect real technological progress, which is hard to do if even weak evidence of non-obviousness gets a lot of weight. The DoJ could have expressed more clearly a concern over what this means for patent quality, but unfortunately it didn’t.

Those who have actually seen some design patents (not registered designs) will know that it’s a bubble of bad patents. Patently-O recently showed the explosive growth of such patents at the USPTO.

What next for patent maximalists? The crooked EPO has already begun granting patents on life itself, rendering EPs a laughing stock.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. IBM's Lennart Poettering on Breaking Software for Pseudo Novelty

    Recently-uploaded ELCE 2011 clip shows a panel with Linus Torvalds, Alan Cox, Thomas Gleixner, Paul McKenney, and Lennart Poettering (relevant to novelty or perceived novelty that mostly degrades the experience of longtime users, e.g. Wayland and systemd)



  2. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 15, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, May 15, 2022



  3. Links 15/05/2022: Linux 5.18 RC7 and Calls for More Mass Surveillance

    Links for the day



  4. Audio: Mark Shuttleworth Marketed to Young Males, With Sexy Pictures

    The Web is rotting away, old links become broken links within months or years, so I’ve decided to encode a 3-minute segment of the whole as Ogg



  5. What a Difference Half a Decade Makes (When Linux Foundation is 'Having Fun')

    Media shaming campaigns may have taken their toll on the founder of Linux, who is now bossed by someone who rejects Linux and is married to a Microsoft booster. Like Richard Stallman under FSF guidance (and conditions for return, mostly for fear of further media assaults and attack dogs), he has become a more publicity-shy and private person. The Linux Foundation has in effect reduced the founder of what it’s called after (Linux) into a weekly release manager and mascot, whose brand it is gradually diluting/cheapening.



  6. Links 15/05/2022: GNU libiconv 1.17

    Links for the day



  7. [Meme] Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court (UPC) Cannot Be Reconciled With the Law

    Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court (UPC)? Impossible. But Team UPC counts on an endless torrent of fake news managing to convince you (and more importantly politicians) otherwise.



  8. Even Team Battistelli is Sometimes Admitting -- Out in Public! -- That Unified Patent Court (UPC) is Neither Legal Nor Desirable

    Daniel X. Thomas and other people who are “too old to punish” (consequences to their career profoundly minimised owing to seniority) are among those who push back against the Unitary Patent or Unified Patent Court (UPC); any sane person — not a career-climbing litigation zealot — can identify the pertinent facts and realise that what’s going on here is an injustice of unprecedented proportions in the patent discipline



  9. [Meme] Common Sense at EPO

    The European examiners who deal with patents prefer a system that works for science, for Europe, not for foreign megacorporations that amass millions of low-quality patents and weaponise these to discourage competition



  10. Patent Granting at the EPO Has Collapsed by 24% Owing to Much-Needed Industrial Action

    Seeing that the EPO’s management routinely violates the law and even the very legal basis of the EPO’s existence (it is a monopoly in Europe; no body has the authority to compete against it), the EPO’s examiners have embarked on a ‘Work-to-Rule’ campaign — working in compliance with the rules as defined 49 years ago and revised over the decades — and the European Patent Convention (EPC) takes priority over unlawful demands from middle and upper management; this is proving highly effective so far and it will carry on until demands are met, i.e. until the law is obeyed and staff is treated with respect/dignity



  11. [Meme] Milan is a Suburb in London

    As long as Italy is not the UK and London means London “proper” (not the French town called London) the UPCA is invalid and no matter how much Team UPC (and its puppets in EPO management) may plead, this whole system is bound to implode



  12. The Latest Propaganda Tactics of Team UPC: Pretending Unified Patent Court Already Exists and Unitary Patents Are Default When If Fact None Even Exists

    8 years ago Benoît Battistelli said that the UPC was imminent; now, after 4 years of António Campinos, it’s still not here and Team UPC speculators say it won’t happen this year, either; just like the EPO constantly lies (both to the public and to its very own staff) Team UPC continues to lie to itself (self-delusion) and to us; both also routinely break the law, engage in deliberate violations of longstanding conventions, and scrap constitutions, which in turn becomes a breaking point for the EU’s credibility and the legal profession



  13. Links 15/05/2022: More Azure Shutdowns and Windows Security Blunders Aplenty

    Links for the day



  14. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, May 14, 2022

    IRC logs for Saturday, May 14, 2022



  15. Links 15/05/2022: Pika Backup 0.4

    Links for the day



  16. Changes in the Site and the Capsule

    A 10-minute explanation of what we've been up to lately and what's changing; hopefully I'll have a lot more free time in months to come and we'll be able to produce about a dozen posts per day



  17. Links 14/05/2022: Alt Linux 10.0 Released

    Links for the day



  18. Links 14/05/2022: Builder GTK 4 Porting and Raspberry Pi Matrix Dashboard

    Links for the day



  19. Elon Musk is Right About Twitter Faking Its Importance and Using Doctored, Manipulated 'Stats' (or Bots) to Boost Valuation Based on Lies

    Today’s empirical proof that Twitter is totally faking its relevance and reach/influence, based on “Analytics” of my long-inactive account; the SEC will once again — quite likely as usual — let Musk get away with it, killing a company for personal gain as a temporary shareholder who amassed a ton of free publicity (he paid nothing at all and sent the company into a death spiral, pretty much in the same way Microsoft and Icahn did Yahoo! or Microsoft and Elop did Nokia)



  20. Who Brings Home the Bacon (Revenue), Sheela or James (Jim)?

    Sheela (yes, wife of the nontechnical Linux Foundation chief, who equates Microsoft critics with people who kick puppies) has a history working with several companies that are closely connected to Microsoft (not just Bakkt); can that be reconciled as not a conflict of interest?



  21. The 'Original' Linus Torvalds on Self-Hosting

    The fast-aging founder of Linux spoke as shown above (2005); so much has changed since then…



  22. IRC Proceedings: Friday, May 13, 2022

    IRC logs for Friday, May 13, 2022



  23. Links 13/05/2022: NetworkManager 1.38 and Pseudo-Security

    Links for the day



  24. Links 13/05/2022: GCC 12 Becoming Default Compiler in Tumbleweed

    Links for the day



  25. Links 13/05/2022: End of 'About BSD'

    Links for the day



  26. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, May 12, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, May 12, 2022



  27. Links 12/05/2022: AlmaLinux OS 8.6 and LibreOffice 7.2.7

    Links for the day



  28. [Meme] Yes, Minister, Yes!

    We’re meant to think that patents — not sharing — are going to save the world



  29. Central Staff Committee of the EPO Reminds the EPO's Management, Yet Again, That It is Breaking Laws

    Sinking quality of European Patents, plus a Patent Granting Process that is not compliant with the law, quite likely mean the EPO drives straight into a wall; the Central Staff Committee is still trying to save the institution, but management is uncaring and unresponsive (these people typically serve a term and leave, so they couldn’t care less about the long-term viability of their employer)



  30. Formalities Officers Team Managers at the European Patent Office Consider Stepping Down

    Formalities Officers Team Managers at Europe's second-largest institution face a growing list of issues; some are even "considering stepping down," according to internal documents


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts