McAndrews Shareholder Christopher V. Carani Authors Featured Article for American Bar Association’s Landslide Magazine


McAndrews, Held & Malloy shareholder Christopher V. Carani has authored an article for the American Bar Association’s Landslide magazine, which is dedicated to the discussion of intellectual property issues. The article, titled “Design Patent Functionality: A Sensible Solution,” is featured in the November/December 2014 issue.

Mr. Carani’s article offers an in-depth analysis of the issue of functionality as it applies to design patent jurisprudence. Specifically, the article discusses the issue of functionality as it applies to the subject matter eligibility provision of ornamentality for design patents set forth in 35 U.S.C. 171. The article also addresses whether/how to excise functional aspects of a design patent claim from protection.

Throughout his contributed piece, Mr. Carani seeks to: (1) generate a better awareness of the distinction between the issues of statutory functionality and claim construction functionality; (2) establish that the majority’s “dictated solely by” test for the distinct issue of statutory functionality is the best approach, inasmuch as it is consistent with the governing statutory framework and sufficiently shields against the unwanted monopolization of a functional idea via design patents; and (3) explain the wrongheadedness of the current legal trend on the issue of claim construction functionality where some courts are eliminating the appearance of so-called functional features from the claimed design.

To read the full article, click here.

Christopher V. Carani, Esq., counsels clients on a wide range of strategic design protection and enforcement issues. He is the immediate past Chair of the American Bar Association’s Design Rights Committee, and the past chair of the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s Committee on Industrial Designs. He has litigated numerous disputes regarding design rights and has served as a legal consultant and expert witness in design law cases in a wide range of industries, including consumer electronics and accessories, consumer retail products, furniture, medical devices, apparel, footwear, and sporting goods, to name a few.  In addition, Carani has authored amicus briefs for landmark U.S. design patent cases, such as Egyptian Goddess v. SwisaLawman Armor Corp. v. Winner Int’l LLCCalmar, Inc. v. Arminak & Assoc. and Richardson v. Stanley Works, Inc.

Carani earned an engineering degree from Marquette University and a law degree from the University of Chicago, and went on to serve as a law clerk to the Honorable Rebecca Pallmeyer at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. He is a registered patent attorney and licensed to practice before the USPTO.

Carani is a frequent contributor to CNN on intellectual property law issues, and is often called upon to provide commentary to other major media outlets, including New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, NPR, PBS TV, CNBC TV, BBC, Bloomberg TV, and Reuters.  Away from the law, Chris is a studied jazz musician who plays upright bass on the Chicago jazz circuit.

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