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Federal Circuit Tells Patent Office to Limit Scope of Design Patents, Overturning Patent Office Precedent

Federal Circuit Tells Patent Office to Limit Scope of Design Patents, Overturning Patent Office Precedent

On October 4, 2021, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit told the Patent Office that the way it has been reviewing design patent applications is wrong, and that a design patent claim must be limited to the article of manufacture identified in the claim. In re: SurgiSil, L.L.P., et al, No. 2020-1940, 2021 WL 4515275 (Fed. Cir. Oct. 4, 2021). SurgiSil filed a design patent application claiming an “ornamental design for a lip implant as shown and described.” The Patent Office rejected the claim as anticipated, or not novel, in light of an art tool called a stump. Images of the claimed lip implant design (first image) and the art tool stump (second image) are shown below. In making the rejection, the Patent Office cited its own Manual of Patent Examining Procedure, MPEP § 1504.02, and a 1956 Court of Customs and Patent Appeals case, In re: Glavas, 230 F.2d… Continue Reading

October 2021
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