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December 15, 2006
Need Help Finding Examples
A friend has asked a question to which I don't have an aswer. To wit: "What constitutes infringement against a design (not utility) patent in the Web space?"
Does anyone have examples of cases being brought against Web design patents?
The source of this question, of course, is the recent award of a design patent for search results, to Google. That is Design Patent No. 533,561 which appears to be patenting the design of incorporating non-traditional search results (news stories, product links) into a search results page. CNET gave me this PDF link to supporting drawings for the patent and all the images show a header section above the list of results.
So without getting into the specific merits/demerits of this patent it's hard for me to say what, in general, constitutes infringement on a design patent within the Web space.
In a possibly related bit of patent irony, Google also announced this week the Beta of a patent search site. The USPTO's search is a bit arcane but even as a layman I've found it useful. Has anyone compared the two, yet?
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