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DesignPatentExample

Detail of an Issued Design Patent

Design patents are a type of patent issued under United States of America law. (Other locations have similar protections but they are called different things.) The patent is granted based on the unique appearance or concept of an item rather than its "usefulness". Design patents typically are sought for items where the appearance is as - or more - important than the underlying craftsmanship itself. So, things like jewelry, toys, furniture, car parts, etc. are frequently granted design patents.

Design patents have a life in the US of fourteen years from the date of issuance. Their main usefulness is as a supplement to copyright protections. Whereas someone claiming a copyright in a work can prevent actual copies being made, a design patent can more easily be used to prevent the unauthorized creation of similar items which are not actually copies. Neither protection is absolute, but some counsel believe that having both is important where even the hint of similar design is a threat to the value of the original design.

From 1978 through 1987, Paramount Pictures sought and obtained various design patents for Star Trek designs. There seem to have been no other filings after 1987, and Paramount's legal department instead probably feels comfortable with existing copyright protections.

In each instance of a design patent at least one "inventor" has to be listed. The inventor can never be the corporation, it has to be an individual or individuals. It is sometimes interesting to see who gets credit for what on the official documents.
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Did You Know that the Kazon were originally meant to be a social commentary on gangs in the United States?

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Today in Trek history

Today is
Tuesday
1915
James D. Ballas is born.
1936
Jill Ireland is born.
1939
David L. Ross is born.
1952
Ralph Winter is born.
1957
Greg Brodeur is born.
1958
John Vargas is born.
1959
Glenn Morshower is born.
1967
Frank Overton dies.
1968
Loren L. Coleman is born.
Story outline submitted for the undeveloped Original Series episode "Shore Leave II", by Theodore Sturgeon.
1969
Melinda Clarke is born.
1971
The Twenty-First UK Story Arc continues in TV21 & Joe 90 #83 with the second of nine installments.
1973
Damon Lindelof is born.
1983
Saad Siddiqui is born.
1986
Forty-third day of filming on Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Cetacean Institute scenes are filmed on location today.
1989
TNG: "The Icarus Factor" airs.
1991
Seventh day of filming on Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
1994
DS9: "The Maquis, Part I" airs.
1995
DS9: "Improbable Cause" airs.
VOY: "Heroes and Demons" airs.
CIC Video releases The Next Generation TV Movies volume 8 and Deep Space Nine volume 3.6 on VHS in the UK.
1996
Thirteenth day of filming on Star Trek: First Contact.
1998
Nineteenth day of filming on Star Trek: Insurrection. Scenes in the Captain's yacht are filmed today.
1999
Carl Saxe dies.
2000
Rhodie Cogan dies.
2002
ENT: "Detained" airs.
2004
ENT: "Damage" airs.
2007
Roy Jenson dies.
2012
Seventy-third day of filming on Star Trek Into Darkness.

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