Interesting piece at Tech.Pinions today looking at the purpose of design patents and the Apple V Samsung decision. While the article is a bit thin on patent law, it is an interesting take on the strategy behind Apple enforcing the design patents:
The goal again of these “rounded corners” is to maintain a unique, consistent, iconic, and easily identifiable Apple product….[I]f you were to look at a table full of notebooks, all without logos, Picking out the one that is Apple’s would be easy. This is not something I can confidently say with regards to any other PC OEM with the exception of Lenovo.
I don’t totally agree with the writer from a patent standpoint. However, from a strategy standpoint, the use of design patents to protect “look and feel” of software is worth considering, especially as the courts continue to look into how much protection should be afforded to utility software patents.