May 30, 2008

Yesterday, the USPTO announced that it will be holding a town hall meeting on the protection of industrial designs on June 16, 2008, at USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. According to the USPTO press release (link below), design patents can offer protection for the appearance, for example, of automobiles, noting that the automotive industry “invests millions of dollars creating unique and distinctive designs for motor vehicles.” The USPTO takes an objective view on this type of protection, noting that “[w]hile the automotive industry is interested in strong IP protection for their creative efforts, other industry and consumer groups argue that IP protection of automotive designs may be contrary to the public interest.” This particular meeting is open to the public, noting the “business community such as the auto industry and insurance companies, independent parts manufacturers, organizations representing business, consumer and other groups, patent attorneys, patent agents, and independent inventors or anyone else interested in the protection of industrial designs” in particular. This meeting follows an initial meeting held earlier this month at Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan, reported in the DDIP article linked below.

USPTO Announcement: LINK
May 5 DDIP Article: LINK

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Mark Reichel
Reichel IP LLC

I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

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