The Eye Alone is the Judge: Images and Design Patents
Georgetown University Law Center
Journal of Intellectual Property Law, Vol. 19, pp. 409-426, 2012
Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. 12-149
Design patents are an area of intellectual property law focused entirely on the visual, unlike copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret, or the various sui generis protections that have occasionally been enacted for specific types of innovation. Judges and lawyers in general are highly uncomfortable with images, yet design patents force direct legal engagement with images. This short piece offers an outsider’s view of what design patent law has to say about the use of images as legal tools, why tests for design patent infringement are likely to stay unsatisfactory, and what lessons other fields of intellectual property, specifically copyright, might take from design patent.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 19
Keywords: images and design patents, copyright law, trademark law, patent law, patent infringement, copyright infringement, intellectual property
JEL Classification: K00, K10, K19Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: October 5, 2012
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