Design Patents–Why?

Gerard Magliocca

Gerard N. Magliocca is the Samuel R. Rosen Professor at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Professor Magliocca is the author of three books and over twenty articles on constitutional law and intellectual property. He received his undergraduate degree from Stanford, his law degree from Yale, and joined the faculty after two years as an attorney at Covington and Burling and one year as a law clerk for Judge Guido Calabresi on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Professor Magliocca has received the Best New Professor Award and the Black Cane (Most Outstanding Professor) from the student body, and in 2008 held the Fulbright-Dow Distinguished Research Chair of the Roosevelt Study Center in Middelburg, The Netherlands. He was elected to the American Law Institute (ALI) in 2013.

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3 Responses

  1. What a great question! Another answer I can think of is that the two types of patents last for different durations depending on what they’re protecting. Perhaps it’s thought that functional inventions deserve to be protected longer?

  2. Brett Bellmore says:

    Perhaps relevant is that, at first, the US only had functional patents, design patents first being introduced something like 50 years later?

  3. Sarah Burstein says:

    Interesting questions, Gerard. I’m curious about what you’ve found in your research that indicates that the 1842 statute was a way to protect trademarks. Everything I’ve seen indicates that designers wanted protections for their product designs per se — not that they were worried about source identification or other trademark-type concerns.

    Also, if you haven’t seen it, Mark Janis and Jason Du Mont have a forthcoming article that discusses the lobbying/impetus behind the 1842 statute: