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shapeform

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Location : Arizona/Michigan

PostSubject: prior art   Sun Mar 07, 2010 3:23 pm

Lets say I have produced a rough design prototype and I register that design with the copyright office...I then make a or some minor changes to that design producing a refined or finished prototype and then try to register the new design. Will I have a problem with prior art even though the origional design is my own?
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Bill Goldblatt

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PostSubject: Re: prior art   Mon Mar 08, 2010 3:31 pm

shapeform wrote:
Lets say I have produced a rough design prototype and I register that design with the copyright office...I then make a or some minor changes to that design producing a refined or finished prototype and then try to register the new design. Will I have a problem with prior art even though the origional design is my own?

When was the copyright registered?

Anyways, if you simply seek to register the new design with the Copyright office, no you should be fine. Copyrights are granted automatically and registration applies an advantage. Prior art comes into play if you are worried about infringing someone else's copyright rights. You can't really copy yourself, so...

The bigger issue which could come into play would be if you went to file for a design patent (which, provided your 'prototype' is for a functioning product) is possibly the only thing which will offer you the protection you are looking for within the US. If your copyright was registered more than a year before you filed your patent application, it could situationally or hypothetically, depending on the nature of your refinements, block your patent. I don't believe that a USPTO examiner would locate your registered design, but if someone else were to in the event you sued for infringement, or what not, well...it wouldn't necessarily matter if the changes made to your original design were considered non-obvious relative to your initial design.

All in all, I wouldn't worry too much. If you have enough at stake though, at any time, or you find yourself worrying, I would run your concerns by an attorney who might be more familiar with certain scenarios than I would be.
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shapeform

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Location : Arizona/Michigan

PostSubject: re prior art   Mon Mar 08, 2010 3:44 pm

Bill, Thank you for your prompt reply!
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