IDSA at 11th Annual USPTO Design Day

IDSA had a strong presence at the 11th annual USPTO Design Day on April 25 in Alexandria, VA. The event also was broadcast live to several USPTO offices across the country as industrial designers, educators and patent examiners, managers and attorneys learned "What’s Next for Design Patents."

Three IDSA members took the stage: Charles Mauro, IDSA, was part of a panel on "Evolving Design IP vs. Evolving Fashion Trends: Stitching it all Together," which also featured attorneys Erica Klein and David Faux; and Julie Zerbo of The Fashion Law blog. "Designers have an increasing focus on protecting their work with design patents," said Zerbo.

Perry Saidman, A/IDSA, of Saidman DesignLaw Group donned a powdered wig and black robe to transform into a judge, while attorneys Christopher Carani, A/IDSA, of McAndrews, Held & Malloy, an IDSA Ambassador, and Damon Neagle of Design IP became plaintiff and defendant in the mock trials of "How Prosecution Affects Claim Interpretration and Enforcement of Design Rights," to an attentive audience. Also on hand from IDSA: the Society's Executive Director Daniel Martinage, CAE; and IDSA Fellows Peter Bressler, Cooper Woodring, Nancy Perkins, Tim Fletcher and Austen Angell. Bressler and Mauro co-chair IDSA's Design Protection Special Interest Section.

"Inside the World of Package Design" was led by Thomas Boshinski, senior counsel and Matthew Zacherle, senior designer—both of WestRock Company. "As designers, we're constantly trying to generate cool and new and different things," said Zacherle.

"I can't believe how much interest has grown in design patents," said Supervisory Patent Examiner Celia Murphy, who then introduced Andrew Hirshfeld, USPTO's commissioner for patents; Karen Young, the new director of the USPTO's TC 2900 and David Gerk, attorney-advisor, Office of Policy an International Affairs. Gerk shared updates on ID5, an industrial design framework comprised of USPTO, European Union Intellectual Property Office, Japan Patent Office, Korean Intellectual Property Office and the State Intellectual Property Office of the People's Republic of China. He called ID5 "an endeavour we're extremely proud of" and an "incubator on industrial design thoughts and processes."

Todd Hunter, director of the Copyright and Industrial Design Branch of the Canadian IP Office, delivered "Designs North of the Border: Update on Canadian Practice," while Richard Stockton of Banner & Witcoff addressed  "Defending Design Litigation: If Something is Amiss, Seek to Dismiss."

Another panel tackled "Patent Prosecution Best Practices Panel: Views from Examiners and Practictioners," moderated by attorney Alexis Simpson and featuring primary patent examiners Philip Hyder and Darlington Ly and attorneys Tracy Durkin and Patty Hong. The day wrapped up with a "Report from the Front Line: A Summary of Recent Decisions" by attorney Joseph Anderson.

The event was co-sponsored by USPTO,  IDSA, American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), IP Law Section of the American Bar Association (ABA-IPL) and Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO).