Design Ideas v. Things Remembered, 3:07-cv-03077 (C.D. Ill. Filed March 16, 2007)
Perry Saidman is a frequent contributory to Patently-O -- especially when the topic turns to design patent law. In a recent case, his firm used copyright law to protect its client's wire-flower design. The flowers were incorporated into candle holders and other small useful objects.
Although cheap ($35), early copyright registration is important for collecting infringement damages. Registration is also helpful in establishing priority and ownership. In this case, the designer registered early and was awarded $750k for willful infringement.
Case: Design Ideas, Ltd., v. Things Remembered, Inc., Case No. 3:07-cv-03077 (C.D. Ill. Filed March 16, 2007) (Garfield Goodrum served as lead attorney for the plaintiffs).
Jury Verdict Form: 2000005312.pdf
The original complaint also included charges of trademark and utility patent infringement. The broadest claimof the utility patent (No. 6,398,058) includes a limitation that "loops formed to simulate a flower" are used to connect the base to the top:
1. A container constructed of metal wires, comprising:
a base including a lower support wire bent to establish the predominant shape of said base;
a top including an upper support wire bent to establish the predominant shape of said top;
a plurality of wire figures, each of said wire figures having a first wire forming a central body and a second wire forming a plurality of loops outwardly extending from the central body and circumferentially offset from one another, said central body and said plurality of loops formed to simulate a flower, wherein said first wire and said second wire are separately formed and coupled together; and
a sidewall connecting said lower support wire and said upper support wire to space said lower support wire from said upper support wire, said sidewall comprising said plurality of said wire figures.