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Legal Protection for New Product Designs--From Mobile Technologies To Fashion

Length: 2 hours 43 minutes

Innovative design is essential to ease of use, visual appeal and effective branding of new products in a wide range of industries. Currently, it has been a challenge for the fashion industry. The increasing affordability and accuracy of 3D scanning and printing is poised to generate widespread copying of product designs across a spectrum of industries.

This program will examine the legal protections that are available for product designs, including design patent, copyright and trade dress protection. Hear about current trends and developments in design patent protection and litigation, including lessons learned from Apple v. Samsung. Find out how you can emulate successful design protection strategies that have been used in the smartphone wars, and by the automotive and fashion industries, among others.

This program is intended for attorneys who advise clients in consumer products industries, particularly design-driven businesses, as well as those who practice intellectual property law.

Program Chair: Catriona M. Collins, Special Counsel, Cowan Liebowitz & Latman, P.C.


6:00-6:10 pm  Introduction  

6:10-6:35 pm Product design overview
•         The role and importance of product design from an industrial design perspective
•         3D Printing

6:35-7:00 pm Protecting Product Designs With Design Patents 
•    The basics of design patent protection, including the standards for patentability, features, and a contrast with utility patents, copyright and trade dress
•    How to obtain a design patent.  Tips for prosecution, overcoming USPTO hurdles, timeline.
•    Litigating the design patent
•    The resurgence of the design patent, including current trends and strategies used by Apple and others

7:00-7:25 pm Enforcing Design Patents  
•    An overview of the main issues, with examples from recent cases
•    The role of expert testimony
•    Remedies and defenses, including issues raised by 3D printing

7:25-7:35 pm Break

7:35-8:00 pm Protecting Product Designs With Trade Dress Rights
•    How to establish trade dress protection
•    Examples of product designs that have been protected by trade dress
•    The extent of protection
•    Remedies and defenses

8:00–8:25 pm  Protecting Product Designs With Copyright.   
•    The basics of copyright protection
•    Examples of product designs that have been successfully protected by copyright
•    The extent of copyright protection, including issues raised by 3D printing
•    Remedies and defenses

8:25–8:50 pm  The Pros And Cons Of  The Three Types Of Protection For Product Designs – With Particular Reference To The Fashion Industry
•    The advantages and shortcomings of each type of protection
•    Examples of successful/unsuccessful theories of protection for fashion designs
•    Proposed legislation for protection of fashion designs

8:50–9:00 pm    Q & A

CLE credit:
NY: 3.0 professional practice
NJ: 3.2 general MCLE
CA & PA: 2.5 general MCLE

Original Recording Date: 4/1/2014

Produced By:

New York City Bar Association

Course Materials

  • Legal Protection for New Product Designs--From Mobile Technologies To Fashion
  • Affirmation Document