Design Law: A Manufacturer's Delight (Update)
Created on January 14, 2019
Design law is the strategic application of patent, trademark, and copyright law to the design of physical and digital articles of manufacture. Successful military, industrial, medical, and consumer product firms employ design law to protect their goods from infringement for the span of their commercial life.
Intellectual property attorneys typically specialize in one or two of the primary IP fields, but not all three. It is incumbent upon IP counsel for manufacturers to ensure that their clients know how and when to apply each kind of IP protection, especially during the product development stage. Flann Lippincott of Lippincott IP LLC directs this presentation to IP attorneys who can benefit from learning how the three IP regimes interact when applied to the design of articles of manufacture. She also will address how the recent U.S. Supreme Court case Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc. has impacted the utilitarian restriction on protecting articles of manufacture with copyright. Understanding the role of product functionality across disciplines is key to crafting a comprehensive strategy.
Flann incorporates her experience as a photographer, industrial designer, and entrepreneur into a visual presentation that informs by applying design law to two iconic products. Due to the broad scope of this presentation, Flann asks that viewers possess a basic knowledge of patent, trademark, and copyright law.
- Recognize the economic importance of designs
- Review the relevant statutes and case law for design patents, trademarks, and copyrights as applied to designs
- Discuss how the three fields of law interact over time when applied to a design
- Identify the tension between utilitarian and aesthetic concerns in design law
- Counsel clients to take the long view and manage their patent, trademark, and copyright assets accordingly
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