Indianapolis, Indiana – Patent lawyers for Draper, Inc. of Spiceland, IN, have filed a declaratory judgment lawsuit against MechoShade Systems, Inc., and Joel Berman Associates, Inc., both of Long Island City, NY. In particular, the suit seeks a ruling that Patent No. 6,164,428, titled Wrap Spring Shade Operator (“the ‘428 patent”) and issued by the U.S. Patent Office, as well as certain of the defendants’ trade dress, are invalid and not infringed.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff Draper sells window shades. The defendant Mr. Berman alleged that Draper’s brackets for mounting window shades infring the ‘428 patent and the defendants’ trade dress. The plaintiff, in turn, alleges that the ‘428 patent is invalid for failing to meet the requirements for patentability in Sections, 102, 103, and 112 of the Patent Act and that the appearance of defendants’ brackets is functional, generic, and not capable of protection as trade dress.
Practice Tip: Trade dress is a form of intellectual property which may be used to protect the non-functional and distinctive appearance of a product or its packaging, including broad subject matter such as the exterior features of a building or the interior design of restaurant. However, under the Lanham Act, a party alleging trade dress infringement must prove that it is “non-functional.” This may be difficult considering the existence of a “utility” patent on the bracket.
Further information about this case is as follows:
Filed: November 10, 2010 as 1:2010cv01443 Updated: November 12, 2010 22:39:25
Plaintiff: DRAPER, INC.
Defendants: JOEL BERMAN ASSOCIATES, INC. and MECHOSHADE SYSTEMS, INC.
Presiding Judge:Sarah Evans Barker
Referring Judge:Tim A. Baker
Cause Of Action: Trademark Infringement