Our instructor begins with the premise that the nonobviousness requirement should never have been applied to design patents, theorizing that its application is the result of prolonged inattention to the design patent system (and a legislative typo). He considers how courts have struggled to apply this inapt requirement for patentability, and often force analogies to utility inventions, punishing meritorious designs. Recent decisions, however, signal a welcome judicial receptiveness to rethinking design nonobviousness. Our instructor offers practical tips for the patent attorney to help properly frame and handle obviousness issues.
This course was recorded in March 2011 at PBI`s 5th Annual Intellectual Property Law Institute. Other sessions from the IP Institute are available on PBI`s Online Campus.
Daniel H. Brean, Esq., The Webb Law Firm, PC, Pittsburgh