Fed. Circ. Design Patent Case Can Guide Medical Device Cos.

Law360 (August 2, 2019, 12:09 PM EDT) -- Design patents can help diversify patent protection in a number of ways. The protection of an article may be extended through continuation strategies, as design patent terms are calculated based on issuance, rather than earliest effective filing date. Design patents are not published until issuance and therefore can delay disclosure of an article's design until protection is achieved and can also delay disclosure of the existence of patent protection of the article.

Moreover, design patents fill in gaps in protection for design features that may be more common in terms of functionality but still have value in their form and appearance....

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