(I have to admit I picked this case in part on the name, Fuzzy Babba. )
Walmart sells a similar fuzzy slipper under the mark “Fuzzy Babba™.” Buyer’s Direct sued Walmart and others for infringing their design patent directed to a slipper that Buyer’s Direct sells under the mark “Snoozies”. In their defense, Walmart and others claimed that the patent was invalid because it was an obvious variation on slipper designs in existence at the time the patent application was filed.
A Federal District Court in New York City found in favor of the accused infringers, Walmart, Sears and High Point Design. The court found that the differences between the design patent and other slipper designs were obvious variations and that the patent was invalid.
What’s the take away here? Be very sure of the strength of your patent when you assert it against an alleged infringer. The first defense is often an attack on the patent itself. If the accused infringers prevail, your patent may be invalidated and any rights associated with it are lost.
Advising on intellectual property issues is critical to any organization. Having the right person to help you make that decision is important. The Law Office of Kathleen Lynch PLLC is designed to help businesses such as yours keep ahead of the game. The first telephone consultation is free. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.