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Neufeld-Furst & Co. v. Frocks

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT


June 10, 1940

NEUFELD-FURST & CO., INC.,
v.
JAYDAY FROCKS INC.

Appeal from the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York.

Before SWAN, CHASE, and CLARK, Circuit Judges.

Per Curiam.

In this circuit it is firmly established that more is required for a valid design patent than that the design be new and pleasing enough to catch the trade; it must be the product of "invention," by which is meant that conception of the design must demand some exceptional talent beyond the skill of the ordinary designed. Nat Lewis Purses, Inc., v. Carole Bags, Inc., 2 Cir., 83 F.2d 475. Such a standard is necessarily vague and difficult of application. Nevertheless, "we are obliged to determine, as best we may, whether the design in question is original and aesthetic and involved a step beyond the prior art requiring what is termed 'inventive genius.'" See A. C. Gilbert Co. v. Shemitz, 2 Cir., 45 F.2d 98, 99. In the case at bar the prior art showed numerous designs for dresses each of which had one or more of the salient features of the patent in suit. To combine them into the design of the patent produced a dress of new and pleasing appearance which caught the fancy of the purchasing public in the summer of 1938, but we cannot say that it required more than the skill of a good dressmaker who had, or is chargeable with, knowledge of the prior art. We think the patent is invalid. The decree should be reversed and the complaint dismissed. So ordered.

19400610

© 1998 VersusLaw Inc.



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