November 18, 2012
Comments Off on National Security Agency gives rare insight into their inner workings
NSA Design Patent
This weeks I stumbled across what seemed like a very old-fashioned design for a slide rule. Curious, who would seek patent protection for something seemingly outdated, I found – our government. More specifically, the super-secret National Security Agency.
Seems the NSA provides a rare glimpse into their inner workings. It appears the agency that otherwise deals with breaking sophisticated cipher codes has a heart for good old technology. But then: Keeping secrets is still in their blood: The original design patent application was filed with a non-publication request, even though design patents don’t publish before issue anyway. Probably just to make sure.
Wonder what slide rule they use to read AES encrypted messages…
December 17, 2011
Comments Off on How to overcome design patent rejections
I always found that studying Office Actions and their responses by other patent practitioners is a great way to learn. This week I looked through the prosecution history of US Design Patent D650355 to Apple. It covers the Design of an iPod, and was coincidentally posthumously awarded to Steve Jobs.
The application was subject to several rejections. In response to the Office Action the Applicants pointed out the differences between the prior art and the claimed design – which convinced the Examiner. Good reference to keep in mind if you have to argue an obviousness rejection in a design patent app.
November 30, 2011
Comments Off on Patented Financial Freedom
This week it was a design patent on a game board that caught my attention. Seems somewhat complicated, but surely the goal is prominently displayed: “Financial Freedom”. Seems you have to make it through various stages in life from school to retirement.
Not a bad reminder though as to how flexible design patents are.
November 24, 2011
Comments Off on Toilet flush foot pedal
Looking at this design patent makes me wonder if the prosecuting patent attorney was simply trying to get his client “a patent” for an invention with apparent utility, but modest ornamental value…
Either way: Congratulations on Design Patent D649,233.
November 6, 2011
Comments Off on LED Lighting Designs
LED lighting must be booming. At least that’s what the number of design patents relating to this new technology that are granted every week suggests. This week alone LG Innotek was awarded 10 design patents for various aspects of LED lamps. Previous week I counted 11 patents, issued to various applicants.
October 18, 2011
Comments Off on Design Patent for Font with Navigation Icons
One design patent that caught my eye this week is D647,128 to Boeing for a font of navigational symbols. The application was allowed with one figure, shown below.
What strikes me is the “ornamental” aspect of the font: The icons are well known to any pilot who has looked at an approach plate. At least to me it appears that there is no difference to the icons used in e.g. FAA publications of approach plates, an example shown below. Arranging them in a font may be new, but in that case the novelty seems to rather lie in the utility of having well known icons available in a font, not in the appearance of the icons.
October 8, 2011
Comments Off on Recent Design Patents awarded to Steve Jobs
I used our search (http://search.designpatents.us) to look for design patents issued to Steve Jobs. Got about 100 results. Many of them clearly carry the handwriting of this remarkable inventor / designer. The results also shows how involved Steve was in details like the design of computer icons – something every other company would likely delegate to an entry-level designer.
September 10, 2011
Comments Off on Resources to Learn about Design Patents
Robert Oake just made me aware of his website http://designpatentschool.com/. Great resource for anyone who wants to learn about design patents. I highly recommend it.
Anyone who considers filing a design patent application “pro-se” should also review the USPTO’s Guide to Filing a Design Patent Application.
September 6, 2011
Comments Off on What’s this icon?
Microsoft was just awarded design patent D644654 for icons, that somehow look like liquid-filled balls. Any guesses what those may be meant for?