Federal Circuit limits disqualifying prior art for design patents
Abstract: Can the existence of a similar-looking art tool anticipate or render obvious a patent for the design of an item used in plastic surgery? Fortunately for a design patent applicant in In re: SurgiSil, L.L.P., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit found that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board erred in finding that the art tool anticipated a lip implant, rendering the implant’s design unpatentable. This article summarizes the case and the concept of “anticipation.” In re: SurgiSil, L.L.P., No. 20-1940 (Fed Cir. Oct. 4, 2021).