Internal Inconsistencies Limit Design Patent Decision's Utility

By Jeremy Kriegel (June 24, 2019, 10:32 AM EDT) -- On May 16, 2019, Judge Ronald Lew of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California issued a decision in Kao v. Snow Monster Inc.,[1] denying an accused infringer's motion for summary judgment of non-infringement of U.S. Design Patent D577601 for a lightbulb-shaped juice bottle.

The opinion addressed several issues common to design patent infringement litigation, including whether the court should provide a verbal description of the claimed design (versus merely referencing the drawing figures of the design patent); whether to compare the accused product to a commercial embodiment of the patented design (versus only comparing the accused product...

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