Design Patent Protection Broadened

As Federal Circuit decisions continue reducing applicants’ ability to patent utility models, the court recently in Egyptian Godess v. Swisa broadened protection for patented designs.  In an en banc decision, the court held the “points of novelty” test unnecessary for finding design infringement.  Formerly, the points of novelty rule held that an accused design, in addition to being substantially similar to an ordinary observer, must also incorporate the point of novelty distinguishing the patented design from the prior art.  By eliminating the points of novelty requirement for infringement, the court makes it easier for design patent holders to assert creative rights in their industrial designs.

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