Patent and Trademark Office Building

Design Patents

Sterne Kessler helps clients obtain design patents that protect the unique features of their products and eliminate knock-offs in the global marketplace.

Sterne Kessler helps client protect their unique product designs and eliminate knock-offs in the marketplace via comprehensive design patent programs. We have helped to protect some of the most iconic designs in the world. Sterne Kessler has filed thousands of design patents in dozens of countries for scores of clients over the past 10 years.

Long before other law firms saw the value of design patents for their clients, the Sterne Kessler team was breaking new ground in the field. Almost 30 years later, we are still developing comprehensive programs to help companies protect their unique product designs and eliminate knock-offs in the marketplace. We have helped to protect some of the most iconic designs in the world. For example, smartphone design patents we obtained survived one of the most contentiously fought patent litigations in history.

There are clear reasons why clients rely on Sterne Kessler to help them obtain global design rights. Reasons to choose Sterne Kessler to prepare and prosecute design patent applications:

  • Challenging conventional wisdom. We were one of the first firms to challenge the conventional wisdom that design patents take too long to get and their scope is too narrow. By understanding what causes examination delay, we can quickly usher patent applications through the system.
  • Expanding product protection. We dispelled the notion years ago that a design patent must claim the entire product, which can result in narrow protection. By focusing on product features, we have obtained hundreds of design patents on portions of a product, in addition to protecting the product as a whole. This provides more flexibility when it comes to stopping knock-offs.
  • Continuation practice. We use continuing application practice to ensnare copiers who draw inspiration from designs, even when those designs are not exact copies.
  • Global reach. For global brands, we work with an international network of law firms who, like us, are experts in design rights. Together, we create coordinated strategies for protecting design rights worldwide including using the Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Rights.
  • Cutting-edge strategies. In some countries, protection for designs has not yet caught up with technological advancements and market realities. In select jurisdictions, we have brought test cases to challenge the legal system and bring about changes in the law that are in line with current trends. Likewise, clients rely on Sterne Kessler to enforce their design patents around the world.
  • Experience. We have been counsel in scores of design patent enforcement litigations resulting in millions of dollars in recoveries from design patent infringements.
  • Effective, targeted results. Where settlement negotiations prove fruitless, we routinely seek to have design patent cases mediated in order to obtain a quick result. Where appropriate, we move for preliminary injunctions and summary judgment to cost-effectively and quickly resolve the case.
  • Market monitoring. We partner with clients to identify offending products at trade shows and in the marketplace.
  • Investment in the system. Sterne Kessler assisted the Intellectual Property Owners Association in drafting its recommendations to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency regarding extension of full border enforcement protection to design patents. In addition, we actively brief overseas patent offices on the importance of design patent protection in emerging technology areas.

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