Monday, September 23, 2013

Design patent, not so comfy

My eyes widened when I saw the design patent at issue in a recent case where the Federal Circuit held that the district court was wrong to grant summary judgment on obviousness and functionality of lined slippers. The Protecting Designs blog has the story and pictures.


I'm baffled by how anyone could look at that and see anything but a basic fur-lined slipper. What on earth is the standard?


  1. Rebecca,
    I don't think the CAFC said the design was not obvious. According to Oblon's blog, the court said the district court used the wrong standard. Obviousness is from the eye of the ordinary designer, not the ordinary observer. Infringement, on the other hand is from the view of the ordinary observer.

  2. Thanks--I have to admit that design patent jurisprudence baffles me. Among other things, I don't really understand why, in this case, the perspective of the ordinary observer and the ordinary designer would diverge, though I could see the point in a more specialized product.