Fed. Circ. Upholds Ford's Victory On F-150 Design Patents

By Matthew Bultman (July 23, 2019, 6:58 PM EDT) -- The Federal Circuit has refused to invalidate two design patents covering automotive body parts for Ford's F-150 pickup truck, making public on Tuesday an opinion that provides guidance on the rules for design patents.

The court entered an order July 11 affirming a Michigan federal judge's decision to uphold the patents, which cover designs for F-150 hoods and headlamps, in a lawsuit brought by the Automotive Body Parts Association. The precedential opinion explaining the court's reasoning had been under seal.

Under the law, a design patent cannot cover a "primarily functional" design. The ABPA, a trade association for auto parts distributors,...

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