Monday, October 6, 2008, 5:08 AM

Publicizing Patent Application Filings

With the recent expansion of the protections afforded by design patents (see post from Sept. 23, 2008 regarding the Egyptian Godess case), and the strength and leverage that utility patents afford, it makes sense for furniture companies to publicize when patents are issued. At least one furniture company has taken it a step further an announced the filing of a patent application.

Home Furnishings Business reports that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has accepted the application of Signature Home Furnishings of Cerritos, California, for a utility patent for the case case goods vendor's premium dresser mirror. The dresser and mirror apparently accommodates home entertainment functions with a motorized mirror that sinks into the dresser, revealing a flat-screen television as the mirror lowers. More on the piece can be found here.

Publicizing the filing and issuance of both design and utility patent applications can assist in the protection of furniture designs and innovations. In particular, publicizing the filing of a patent application may allowed for enhanced damages in later infringement actions.

NOTE: The Signature Home Furnishings application is not yet available on the Patent Office's website.

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