The Altered Infringement Standard For Design Patents

Law360, New York (September 25, 2008, 12:00 AM EDT) -- On Sept. 22, 2008, the Federal Circuit, sitting en banc, fundamentally altered the claim construction process and infringement standard for design patents through its decision in Egyptian Goddess Inc. v. Swisa Inc., case number 2006-1562.

Design patents allow an inventor to claim the ornamental design of a functional object. The design is claimed through drawings or photographs contained in the patent. In Swisa, the claimed design was a nail buffer consisting of a rectangular, hollow tube having a generally square cross-section and featuring buffer surfaces on...
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