Bloomberg Law | GM, LKQ Trade Punches at Fed. Cir. Over Design Patent Test

Federal Circuit judges expressed skepticism over the Rosen-Durling test, which has been utilized for four decades to assess the obviousness of design patents, particularly in a case involving General Motors Co. and LKQ Corp. LKQ Corp., represented by Irwin IP LLP and Lex Lumina PLLC, challenged the test, arguing it sets an unreasonably high bar and allows automakers to patent minor design tweaks, leading to inflated part prices. During a rare en banc session for the first time in 15 years, judges questioned why a previous patent referenced by LKQ Corp. did not meet the test’s criteria, suggesting a potential need for revision to ensure fairness and promote innovation in design.

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