Design Patents Do Not Protect Functional Features

Law360, New York (March 24, 2010, 1:52 PM EDT) -- On March 9, 2010, the Federal Circuit issued Richardson v. Stanley Works Inc., 2009-1354 (Fed. Cir. Mar. 9, 2010), breathing life and some clarity into the application of functionality to design patents and affirming a summary judgment finding of no infringement.

In April 2009, the district court granted summary judgment of noninfringement in Richardson v. Stanley Works Inc., 610 F.Supp.2d 1046 (D. Ariz. Apr. 6, 2009), based on a claim construction that distinguished functional features from protectable ornamental features. The district court narrowed the infringement analysis...
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