The treatment of functional features in design patents was discussed in the recent Federal Circuit case for Sport Dimension, Inc. v. The Coleman Company, Inc., Case No. 15-1553 (Fed. Cir. 2016).  The Court rejected the district court’s claim construction, which completely removed functional features.

As noted by the Court, “[a] design patent cannot claim

Under the Patent Act, one can patent “any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof.”[1] Common exceptions to what can be patented include laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas[2].  In Ariosa Diagnostics, Inc. v. Sequenom, Inc. (Sequenom), the

Under the Patent Act, one can patent “any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof.”[1] Common exceptions to what can be patented include laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas[2]. In a recent decision in Ariosa Diagnostics v. Sequenom (Sequenom

An industrial design generally constitutes the ornamental or aesthetic aspects of various articles, such as the three dimensional features (e.g., shapes) or two dimensional features (e.g., patterns, lines or colors) of packages, containers, furniture, household goods, lighting equipment, jewelry, electronic devices, and textiles. Industrial designs can be protected in many countries by a design patent.

There has been a lingering, divisive question in the software industry as to whether application programming interfaces (APIs) are entitled to copyright subject matter protection.  Critics argue that this type of source code is functional in nature and, as such, should not be protected by copyright. However, in Oracle America, Inc. v. Google, Inc.

Patent prosecution can be a slow and expensive process.  A business or an applicant may wish to accelerate the process of procuring a patent for a number of reasons including, engaging in enforcement activity and reducing investor’s or licensee’s perceived risks.  A decisive factor for businesses and applicants seeking patent protection in key global markets

A common topic of patent reform discussions are patent trolls.[1] Patent trolls, who often gather patent portfolios and assert patents against others in an effort to collect licensing fees or patent infringement damages, are often criticized as a flaw in the current patent system that hurts the very innovation that the patent system is