Patent Update: Broaden Your Portfolio with Design Patents | AIChE

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Patent Update: Broaden Your Portfolio with Design Patents

Patent Update

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) currently grants about 300,000 utility patents each year, which makes them the most common type of patent. Design patents are the second-most common, with only 25,000 granted per year. Major industrial firms include design patents in their portfolios because of their potential competitive value.

Design patents were at the center of a recent dispute between Ford Global Technologies, LLC, and Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA), a coalition of 160 companies that supply parts to the auto body parts aftermarket. Ford accused ABPA members of infringing two of Ford’s design patents relating to Ford’s F-150 truck, including a patent on the truck’s hood design and another on its headlamp design. The case was heard by both the International Trade Commission (ITC) and the Federal courts...

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