Architectural Patents Beyond Bucky Fuller's Quadrant

Terms of Appropriation: Modern Architecture and Global Exchange 186–211 (Amanda Reeser Lawrence & Ana Miljacki, eds., Routledge 2018)

19 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2018

See all articles by Kevin Emerson Collins

Kevin Emerson Collins

Washington University in St. Louis - School of Law

Date Written: July 26, 2018

Abstract

This draft of a chapter in a compilation addressing architectural appropriation examines patents on architectural designs issued over the last century and a half to flesh out the surprisingly expansive legal standard for what constitutes a patentable design at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). Architectural patents are not limited to innovative construction technologies. Innovative dispositions of space – that is, novel arrangements of the programmatic spaces as represented in floor plans, sections, or their three-dimensional equivalents – can also be patented. They are functional technologies that “do” something, not simply copyrightable artistic works, because they have programmatic affordances: they allow some human behaviors and patterns of human activity to occur more easily than others.

Keywords: intellectual property, patent, architecture

Suggested Citation

Collins, Kevin Emerson, Architectural Patents Beyond Bucky Fuller's Quadrant (July 26, 2018). Terms of Appropriation: Modern Architecture and Global Exchange 186–211 (Amanda Reeser Lawrence & Ana Miljacki, eds., Routledge 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3220484

Kevin Emerson Collins (Contact Author)

Washington University in St. Louis - School of Law ( email )

Campus Box 1120
St. Louis, MO 63130
United States

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