Supreme Court Clarifies Effect of Utility Patent on Trade Dress Claim
On Tuesday, March 20, 2001, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision on the impact of a utility patent on trade dress protection for a product design. The Supreme Court reviewed TrafFix Devices, Inc. v. Marketing Displays, Inc., to resolve whether an expired utility patent for a product bars trade dress protection for the product’s design. While not establishing a clear rule, the Supreme Court raised the bar to trade dress protection for any product feature ever covered by a utility patent. View full article (PDF).