Better sit down: scope of design limited by claim language

In Curver Luxembourg, SARL v. Home Expressions Inc., a case of first impression, the Federal Circuit recently held that claim language can indeed limit the scope of a design patent.  Curver has a design patent that, although entitled “Pattern for a Chair,” merely illustrates “a design pattern disembodied from any article of manufacture.”  Curver sued Home Expressions arguing their baskets incorporated a similar pattern and infringed.  The Federal Circuit instead held that claim language can limit the scope of a design patent because “long-standing precedent, unchallenged regulation, and agency practice all consistently support the view that design patents are granted only for a design applied to an article of manufacture, and not a design per se.”

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