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In re Maatita

Design Patent May Use Two-Dimensional Perspective to Claim Ornamentation on a Three-Dimensional Item

In re Maatita, __ F.3d __, 2018 WL 3965892 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 20, 2018) (DYK, Reyna, Stoll) (PTAB) (3 of 5 stars)

Fed Cir reverses enablement/definiteness-based rejection of design patent. The PTO erred in holding that Maatita’s design patent, which recited an ornamental design for a shoe bottom as laid out in a single two-dimensional plan-view drawing, had insufficient detail to enable practice of the claim, or to sufficiently define its scope. Citing Nautilus, 134 S. Ct. 2120 (2014), the opinion reasons that for design patents, definiteness and enablement are measured from the perspective of one skilled in the art. It is possible for a single two-dimensional plan-view drawing to convey sufficient information for such a person to understand how the claim would apply to a three-dimensional structure such as a shoe bottom. That Mr. Maatita’s plan-view drawing did not disclose convexities, or concavities, does not render it non-enabling or indefinite because Mr. Maatita was claiming the two-dimensional arrangement of features, as viewed from a specific perspective shown in his drawing.

KEYWORDS: DESIGN PATENT; INDEFINITENESS (NO); ENABLEMENT (YES)