Design Patent of the week Product Design Of the week Litigation Legislation Design Practice Links
posted 11:16 AM by Design and Protect Staff
This week the United States Patent & Trademark Office issued D624,087 for Microsoft's user interface "Color Image for a Display Screen," which appears when logging in to Windows 7:

The issued patent indicates:

The patent or application file contains at least one drawing executed in color. Copies of this patent or patent application publication with color drawing(s) will be provided by the Office upon request and payment of the necessary fee.

The color image available through the USPTO is shown below. The design includes an interplay of color gradients and lightly rendered flowing elements that transition smoothly from one to the next.

While the USPTO publishes color drawings in greyscale, it also makes the color drawings available to the public as part of the official record. The scope of protection is formed by the color figures despite the patent copy containing only greyscale images.

OHIM, the agency responsible for designs in the European Union, publishes issued designs in color both through its website and on certificates. Hopefully, the USPTO will have the capability of printing designs in color in the future.

posted 9:03 AM by Design and Protect Staff
Recently posted on Yanko was "Brainovi" - a tactile GPS-like system for guiding the visually impaired and credited to Korean designers Seung-Hyun Yoon, Seol-Hee Son and Ji-Youn Kim.

posted 6:01 AM by Design and Protect Staff
Cleaning up your end-of-the-summer picnic became that much more easier. A design patent issued last week for a table cover that can be easily converted into a trash bag.

Table Cover Trash Bag, D623,459

posted 11:01 AM by Design and Protect Staff
Yanko Design has posted an article about an interesting Volkswagon concept by Mate Bartha.

While the exterior has a cool Tron vibe, a lot of detailed work has been done designing a reconfigurable interior which looks capable of shifting the four seats around to accomodate 0-4 people. The controls might take awhile to get used to.

posted 6:01 AM by Design and Protect Staff
Yes, it's a chair. This bulbous chair can be used like an exercise ball but will not roll away.

Chair, D623,430

The Top Star Fitness Chair comes in an assortment of lively colors including red (below), green, yellow, light blue and orange.

posted 6:44 PM by Darrell G. Mottley
Belwith Products LLC v. Laurey Cabinet Hardware
Civil Action No. 1:10-cv-00898

We bring you a summary of recent design patent litigation directed to a cabinet pull design.  On September 13, 2010, Belwith Products, LLC (“Belwith”) filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan against Laurey Cabinet Hardware and Strategic Brands, Inc.  (“SBI”). In the Complaint, Belwith accuses Laurey Cabinet Hardware and SBI of infringing U.S. Design Patent D451,782 issued on December 11, 2001 (a few images from the design patent are shown below).

FIGURES 1 and 2 from the Design Patent

In the filed Complaint, Belwith accuses Laurey Cabinet Hardware and SBI of making, importing, using, and/or selling cabinet handles, knobs and pulls under the product line of Falling Waters in violation of rights covered by the design patent in suit.  Belwith also charges Laurey Cabinet Hardware and SBI of copyright infringement of  Belwith's cabinets handles, knobs and pulls.


In the catalog of Laurey Cabinet Hardware, the Falling Waters pull has a mix of  traditional and art deco design elements.  We have at least one image shown below of the accused product of Laurey Cabinet Hardware.

The Pull

Because this case has been recently filed in the federal court, Laurey Cabinet Hardware and SBI has not filed an Answer to the Complaint. We will see what the fall out may be from this case.    

posted 2:01 PM by Design and Protect Staff
Over at the TokyoFlash website, they have designers submit ideas for new watches, which they then consider putting into production. TokyoFlash's watches are known for their innovative designs, and their often-baffling new methods of reporting the time. The recent submission of the Cobra watch seems a bit more intuitive to read the time on, while still being an interesting method of display and clever design: