A US design patent provides protection for the ornamental design of an invention. A design that is substantially similar to the patented design cannot be made, used, sold, offered for sale, or imported into the United States without the permission of the patent owner. In practical terms, design patents are extremely useful for stopping and/or collecting damages from an infringer who directly copies an invention. In fact, in many instances, design patents are the best and only form of intellectual property to stop a copycat. Despite this, design patents are less widely obtained and enforced than the more commonly known utility patent.
Design patent law carries its own unique set of case law and rules surrounding identifying the patent’s scope and determining infringement. These rules are quite different from the rules for the more widely understood utility patents. Because of this, it is extremely important to work with attorneys who have deep and extensive knowledge of the law of design patents when enforcing and litigating design patents. In Massachusetts, it is hard to find more experienced attorneys than at Lambert Shortell & Connaughton. Indeed, since 2009 and as of this writing, Lambert Shortell & Connaughton has handled 40% of the design patent litigation cases in Massachusetts that have gone to claim construction – a critical turning point in design patent lawsuits. Our firm also has experience litigating these cases in Federal District Courts of New Hampshire and Maine.
If you are interested in obtaining protection for your unique designs, and/or interested in enforcement of existing design patents, please contact any of our talented attorneys or book an appointment online here: www.calendly.com/lscip.