Meeting of the Minds—Pattern Overlay: Do Design Patents and Copyright Protection Work with—or Against—Each Other?

Vol. 6 No. 4

By

Justin M. Clark is the managing attorney at J. Clark Law Firm in Phoenix,  Arizona. He specializes in trademark and copyright prosecution and litigation. Julianne R. Davis focuses her practice exclusively on intellectual property matters, with an emphasis on litigation and strategic counseling. Her experience includes utility patents and models, design patents, trademarks, product configuration, trade dress, trade secrets, counterfeiting, and the procurement and enforcement of IP rights.

The famed human psychologist Abraham Maslow coined the phrase “To the man who only has a hammer, everything he encounters begins to look like a nail.” Although this quote has a great deal of relevance in the field of psychology, it also can be taken as the mantra of intellectual property attorneys. After all, many of the questions IP attorneys face in daily practice involve a weighing of different types of proprietary subject matter with the requirement that the attorney properly advise clients on the best form of protection. Viewed in this way, Maslow’s caveat against using only one type of tool in all situations has special significance.

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