Tuesday, September 17, 2013, 10:38 PM

Copyright + Trade Dress = Solid Combination For Furniture Manufacturers

Furniture manufacturers have a varied arsenal when it comes to protecting their intellectual property. A single item of furniture can be protected by a utility patent (assuming there is functionality), design patent, copyright, and trade dress. If the item or its collection has a name, trademark rights may be available too. Even though there are many tools, the copyright and trade dress combination is a dependable pairing that provides a formidable offense.

Amini Innovation Corporation ("AICO") recently deployed this one-two punch against McFerran Home Furnishings. See Civil Action No. 2:13-cv-6496 (C.D. Cal. Sept. 5, 2013). In its complaint, AICO alleges copyright and trade dress infringement for two items of furniture, including the heavily advertised Villa Valencia Bed (AICO's shown above McFerran's allegedly infringing bed):




The copyright-plus-trade dress strategy allows a furniture manufacturer to assert a statutory claim (copyright) and essentially a common law claim (trade dress). Manufacturers can apply for and obtain a copyright certificate at any time, unlike with patents, which can time-barred by public disclosures and sales. One can sell a product for a while and then get a copyright registration, including after the discovery of an infringer. Be careful, however, because statutory damages are only available to those that obtain a registration before the infringement starts. The trade dress claim allows the manufacturer put on evidence of its wide-spread advertising and marketing, all of which can greatly influence a judge or jury.

Used together, the copyright-plus-trade dress combination is an effective set of litigation tools for the furniture manufacturer with innovative designs.

5 Comments:

Blogger jazz smith said...

Very beautiful and attractive designs of the bedroom Furniture. This type of collection is available at Furniture Stores in Phoenix. I purchased such items from there last week.

October 1, 2013 at 6:33 AM  
Blogger Dstinyseatings said...

awesome design of the bedroom a better idea for furniture manufacturersthanks for share

October 7, 2013 at 8:15 AM  
Blogger Smith said...

Superb Designs of the bedroom furniture and helpful for fixture makers. You can also make these designs in Chaandhi Kar Furniture.

October 16, 2013 at 7:01 AM  
Blogger Manasseh Holton said...

Wow very well informative and one of the best idea for all.

October 31, 2013 at 12:23 PM  
Anonymous Alisa Hill said...

Furniture manufacturer should have knowledge on this copyright-plus-trade dress strategy. In fact it's totally a new concept which has recently implemented.

January 24, 2014 at 2:58 AM  

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