Posted on Sep 5, 2020

Law Office of Gerald R. Prettyman

Humans have been wearing footwear for many millennia (a recent find was over 5500 years old), but even in the 21st century, patents are important for shoe designers. Not long ago, Elephant Shoes created new designs and wanted patent protection. To be worn, shoes must abide by human foot contours and use, which are both a law of nature, and long-known, so related features are not protectable by a utility patent.
Fortunately, Elephant Shoes contacted Gerald R. Prettyman, who worked with a graphic artist to capture the design elements of the shoes, and assure the drawings met the stringent graphic and artistic requirements for a design patent.
Unlike a utility patent, a design patent must show every feature of the design and every feature must have sufficent views to indicate relative position, depth, and as the inventions must be useful - the drawings must indicate use of every feature. But like a utility patent, we want to make sure to provide protection against knockoffs by omitting unimportant elements from the protected features. The drawings must therefore distinguish between important design elements that capture the eye (and sales), while not allowing unimportant design elements that would allow knockoffs
Shown is U.S. Design Patent No. D743152.
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