Law + Product Design

IDSA Co-Sponsors IP Roundtable at University of Pennsylvania Law School

It's an issue that is crucial to industrial designers, innovators and entrepreneurs—and capturing global headlines in recent years as design patent cases make their way through the legal system. On April 8, 2016, IDSA partnered with the University of Pennsylvania's Law School and the Ivy League institution's Integrated Product Design Program to co-sponsor an invitation-only, roundtable discussion on design patent law. The exchange took a closer look "at the identification and clarification of the conflicts that exist in the current state of the legal art relating to design patents."

The event was organized by Peter Bressler, FIDSA, adjunct associate professor at Penn's Integrated Product Design Program; co-chair of IDSA's Design Protection Special Interest Section; and founder of Bresslergroup, along with Professor R. Polk Wagner of Penn's Law School. They said in the last several years, design-related intellectual property has emerged as a mainstream policy issue.

IDSA Executive Director Daniel Martinage, CAE, joined more than a dozen designers; IDSA members and Fellows; attorneys; practitioners; and scholars—at Penn's Law School in Philadelphia. "One of IDSA's major goals is to create a consensus on IDSA's position in the patent arena—a space that is critical to IDSA members and design-related fields," said Martinage. More roundtable discussions could be held in the summer and fall.

For the first time in more than a century, the US Supreme Court will hear an appeal in a design patent case that some media observers say "could set a precedent with ripple effects throughout the tech industry." On March 21, 2016, the nation's highest court agreed to hear an appeal from Samsung on what it must pay Apple in a case that contended Samsung infringed on iPhone design. The US Supreme Court could get the case in October 2016. Read more.