My experience with design patents is fairly limited. I generally have a good idea what the scope of the claim is and know that dashed lines are not part of the claim. That being said, I have very little idea what the scope of the linked patent would be, but it seems so broad as to almost be incomprehensible, much less valid.

Anyone have any insight into this?


  • I can decide if it is so broad or narrow. Just two unbroken lines in some views. An interesting question.
    – Eric S
    May 17, 2017 at 16:59
  • Right. The part I don't remember from prior research is whether the dashed lines provide any kind of context that could influence the claim interpretation. My initial reaction was that this literally would cover at least any lamp base with a cutout that has two parallel sides. It is kind of alarming and seems like the kind of thing that should be reviewed by the PTO.
    – bstovall
    May 17, 2017 at 21:33
  • I actually think this more chip level since the current assignee is an LED manufacturer. Design patents are never as broad as you are suggesting I think, but I'm definitely not sure.
    – Eric S
    May 17, 2017 at 21:50
  • Good call, it is for an LED.
    – bstovall
    May 18, 2017 at 3:56
  • It's for a light-emitting unit, that's not an LED, that's basically everything that emits light. But I don't see what this is supposed to cover neither.
    – user18033
    May 20, 2017 at 13:01

1 Answer 1


The examination process for design patents is extremely limited. In this case, it seems like an invalid patent was granted. Yes, the scope of this patent is almost infinite because the claimed design is merely two parallel faces/edges. However, if the owners were to attempt to enforce their patent, it could be effortlessly invalidated by presenting evidence of prior art. It is likely that the patent was drafted by the inventors, who did not have a good understanding of patent law. A patent attorney would never file a patent like this one.

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