Saturday, January 23, 2010, 11:21 AM

Strength Of Design Patents Seen In Case On Shower Rod

A recently filed case in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania demonstrates the power of design patents to protect design elements that are not eligible for copyright protection. In Zenith Products Corp. v. Design Home Solutions, LLC (Case No. 2:10-cv-00148-LS), Zenith Products alleges that defendant is infringing U.S. Patent No. D542,897, entitled "Curved Shower Rod." The '897 Patent covers a simple curved shower rod that could not be protected under copyright law. Ohter than the circular mounts located on each end, the only design element on the bar itself appears to be five rings around that bar that are likely joints. Home furnishing designers are well advised to consider design patents as a quick and inexpensive format for protecting relatively simple designs. The figures from the '897 Patent are shown below.


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