Analysis

Fed. Circ. Ruling May Allow Some Designers Broad Patents

By Matthew Bultman (September 7, 2018, 6:11 PM EDT) -- The Federal Circuit's recent decision that a single drawing of a shoe sole met the requirements for a design patent could allow some designers to obtain broader protections, making it more difficult for copycats to avoid infringement — although experts say the ruling has its limitations.

In an Aug. 20 opinion, the appeals court reversed a Patent Trial and Appeal Board decision rejecting an application for a patent on the design of a shoe bottom. The court said a two-dimensional drawing of a three-dimensional object can, in some circumstances, meet the enablement and definiteness requirements for a design patent.

The ruling could...

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