Design Patents Taking Center Stage in IP Litigation

Center Stage.pngBy Toban Platt

In Apple v. Samsung, the Federal Circuit court of appeals showed how valuable a design patent can be by affirming the trial court’s award for over $500 million dollars to Apple based largely on its design patents. This decision put design patents in the spotlight of intellectual property protection. The case first started in 2012 and revolved around design patents on particulars of Apple phones, including D618,577 (black rectangle with rounded corners), D593,087 (bezel on surrounding rim), and D604,305 (colorful grid of 16 icons). Apple was able to show that several Samsung phones were substantially similar to the iPhone, which included the design patents at issue. The court found this entitled Apple to collect all of the profits Samsung had made from its infringing phones.

Continue reading

Have a Break, Have a KitKat!


By Yayi Ding

Many of us grew up indulging in the famous four-fingered chocolate wafer known as the KitKat. Such glorious memories! However, KitKat may no longer have exclusive rights to its four-fingered design, because of ongoing lawsuits with its competitors.

KitKat is a product of the Swiss Nestle Company, and is produced by the Hershey Company in the United States. Needless to say, Nestle has had disputes with a fair share of its competitors, including British candy-maker Cadbury. In 2012, Nestle opposed Cadbury’s trademark application for its “purple packaging,” arguing that the mark lacked any distinctive character. Nestle won that battle, which allowed Nestle and other confectioners to sell candy with the same purple-colored wrapping. Continue reading