First Design Patent Inter Partes Review Instituted

April 25th, 2013

On April 25, 2013, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office decided to institute inter partes review on the first design patent to become the subject of these new proceedings. A copy of the decision is available here. The petition for inter partes review was filed on December 5, 2012 by Munchkin Inc. against Luv n’ Care’s U.S. Design Patent No. D0617465. IPR2013-00072 (Doc. 3). The ‘465 patent is directed to a drinking cup. In granting the petition on limited grounds, the PTAB stated in a representative basis for its decision to institute the proceeding:

“We determine that there is a reasonable likelihood, that, in the eye of an ordinary observer, the designs are substantially the same, such that they would deceive the observer, inducing him to purchase a drinking cup embodying the design of Hakim ‘604 supposing it to be that of the challenged claim. Accordingly, the Petition is granted as to review of the patentability of the claim of the ‘465 Patent over Hakim ‘604.” IPR2013-00072 (Doc. 8, at 14).

For more detailed analysis, please revisit the PTO Litigation Center in the near future.