7 thoughts on “Design Patents vs Utility Patents

  1. 4

    Claim 1. A method for generating a random number between 0 and a value X, comprising:

    filing a patent infringement lawsuit against a first company;

    obtaining a jury verdict of infringement in said lawsuit;

    arguing a maximum amount of damages in said lawsuit, wherein said maximum amount equals X;

    obtaining a jury finding of an amount of damages in said lawsuit; and

    returning the amount of damages in said lawsuit as said random number.

  2. 3

    Please forgive me if this has all been discussed, but can someone tell me what is ornamental about Apple’s design? Every single element seems functional to me.

    1. 3.1

      The issue is not whether the element itself has a function; rather the issue is whether the design of the element is dictated by the function. In this case, they could have made a different looking element that performed the same function (e.g., rounded corners versus square corners); hence the design is not dictated by its function.

    2. 3.2

      Many popular portable phone brands have sharp corners because the corners can be used as tools for engraving, opening beer bottles, etc. Apple made a bold design choice, probably the result of a team of highly educated people working for weeks deciding between smooth corners, sharp corners, and corners shaped like the profile of each of the Mt. Rushmore Presidents (deemed to be popular with patriotic Americans — the most important kind — with two million visitors annually!).

    3. 3.3

      Remember, the design is a lot narrower than it would appear in articles written by poor journalists. The patented design isn’t “rounded corners”, but a specific corner radius; as well as other features including button placement, bezel size, earphone slot size and shape, etc. If you think simply “corners should be rounded to prevent damage to a user’s skin from a sharp point,” then yes, that’s functional. But if you think “corners should have a 3.4mm radius of curvature as opposed to 4.2mm, because the former is more aesthetically pleasing,” then that’s ornamentation.

  3. 2

    The simplest designs are the most difficult to conceive! We were told that by a very serious person once.

  4. 1

    Great example of how f’d up US law is.

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