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Archived updates for Monday, March 06, 2006

CAFC Emphasizes Analyzing Design Patent Infringement as a Whole

In Amini Innovation Corp. v. Anthony California, Inc., et al. (Fed. Cir.; March 3, 2006) the court emphasized the importance of analyzing a design infringement as a whole, rather on an element-by-element basis:
At the outset, this court perceives again that conclusions about reasonable
jurors are difficult to make on an issue of this factual dimension. See
Bernhardt, L.L.C. v. Collezione Europa USA, Inc., 386 F.3d 1371, 1383 (Fed. Cir.
2004) ("Both the ordinary observer and point of novelty tests are factual
inquiries that are undertaken by the fact finder during the infringement stage
of proceedings, after the claim has been construed by the court."). More
important, however, this court perceives a procedural error. Specifically, as
noted above, the trial court mistakenly analyzed each element separately instead
of analyzing the design as a whole from the perspective of an ordinary observer.
The trial court is correct to factor out the functional aspects of various
design elements, but that discounting of functional elements must not convert
the overall infringement test to an element-by-element comparison. Thus, the
trial court erred in its application of the "overall similarity" test on summary
judgment. This court cannot agree on this record that "no reasonable jury could
find that the designs of these two pieces of furniture are substantially

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Anonymous Anonymous said...



April 07, 2009 3:36 AM  

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