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Google Gets A Design Patent On Its Home Page

Following Ex Parte Strikland, holding that computer-generated icons alone count as surface ornamentation, the USPTO confirmed that that designs for computer-generated icons are, in fact, statutory subject matter eligible for design patent protection.  The USPTO recently issued Google a design patent on their home page (Pat. No. D. 599,372).  Although there is some debate as to the usefulness of such protection, particularly for icon designs protected by trademark and copyright, businesses may find it useful to have Design patent coverage included in their IP portfolios, even if only for monetization.

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