Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 11th Aug 2011 09:22 UTC
Legal Earlier this week, we were introduced to a new concept in intellectual property law: the European 'Community Design'. The Community Design is a sort of trademark on design, and sits halfway between a trademark and a patent. I decided to investigate what, exactly, the laws and regulations around Community Designs are, and what I found was shocking. Think the USPTO is bad? Wait until you learn about the Community Design.
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Comment by cyrilleberger
by cyrilleberger on Thu 11th Aug 2011 09:44 UTC
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It is interesting as you mention two contradictory problems to the community design: it costs money and there is no prior art search. What cost money when filling a patent or a design is the prior art search, so if you want improvement on that aspect, the cost will increase, which would have a higher impact on small companies, but a limited impact on bigger problem.

The real problem is not in how community designed are filled, but how the judiciary process works. Since the community design is so weakly granted, it should not be possible for a court to take a decision on it (even a preliminary one) without hearing from both side. In which case, Samsung could have tried to show that apple was not that likely to win the trial, and possibly prevent the preliminary injunction.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Comment by cyrilleberger
by RWeede on Fri 12th Aug 2011 10:05 in reply to "Comment by cyrilleberger"
RWeede Member since:

Actually, I would not say that the idea of design patents (what a misleading name -- it has nothing to do with patents) is bad in itself. They have existed for quite some time and have never been especially problematic from a standpoint of fair competition, for one simple reason: Judges have usually been VERY reluctant to issue preliminary decisions based on design rights BECAUSE they are granted automatically on registration without any search for prior art.

The normal use for such design patents would be to use them for protection against 100%-identical-looking design rip-offs of your products.

That is why I do not understand the decision in the Apple/Samsung case at all (though I have to admit that I have not read it yet). It is HIGHLY unusual to issue such a far-reaching decision based on a Community Design which has never been challenged in court before.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by cyrilleberger
by JAlexoid on Sun 14th Aug 2011 20:57 in reply to "RE: Comment by cyrilleberger"
JAlexoid Member since:

Why? In Germany they seem to do it all the time. Shoot first ask questions later.
I bet the situation is due to the car manufacturers interest in restricting other car manufacturers from using their designs very fast.

(Rage! At the pedantic "bastards". Thanks for the wonderful cars and engineering though)

Reply Parent Score: 2