Before today, to find infringement of a design patent, two tests need to be satisfied: 1) the “point-of-novelty” test and 2) the “substantial identity” test. Sun Hill Indus. v. Easter Unlimited, Inc., 48 F.3d 1193, 1197, 33 U.S.P.Q.2d 1925, 1928 (C.A.F.C. 1995); Brainard v. Custom Chrome, Inc., 872 F.Supp. 39 (W.D.N.Y. 1994).
Today, in Egyptian Goddess, Inc. v. Swisa, Inc., __ F.3d __ (Fed. Cir. 2008)(en banc)(Bryson, J.), the Federal Circuit reworked the test for design patent infringement, holding that:
On the basis of the foregoing analysis, we hold that the “point of novelty” test should no longer be used in the analysis of a claim of design patent infringement. Because we reject the “point of novelty” test, we also do not adopt the “non-trivial advance” test, which is a refinement of the “point of novelty” test. Instead, in accordance with Gorham and subsequent decisions, we hold that the “ordinary observer” test should be the sole test for determining whether a design patent has been infringed. Under that test, as this court has sometimes described it, infringement will not be found unless the accused article “embod[ies] the patented design or any colorable imitation thereof.” Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., 162 F.3d at 1116-17; see also Arminiak & Assocs., Inc. v. Saint-Gobain Calmar, Inc., 501 F.3d 1314, 1319 (Fed. Cir. 2007).
- Gorham Co. v. White, 81 U.S. 511, 14 Wall. 511 (1871)
- Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. Hercules Tire & Rubber Co., 162 F.3d 1113 (Fed. Cir. 1998)
- Arminak & Assocs., Inc. v. Saint-Gobain Calmar, Inc., 501 F.3d 1314 (Fed. Cir. 2007)