Leveraging Design Patents to Protect Graphical User Interfaces

Protecting the "Look and Feel" of GUIs, Understanding Current U.S. and Global Prosecution Practices

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Thursday, November 30, 2017

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This CLE webinar will provide guidance to patent counsel on protecting graphical user interfaces (GUIs) in the U.S. and around the world. The panel will examine the advantages and disadvantages of design patent protection and offer best practices for leveraging design patents to protect GUIs.


As products increasingly interface directly with users, the use of GUIs—the icons and visual indicators used to control electronic devices, phones, ATMs, computers and other technology—is now ubiquitous.

Using and protecting the “look and feel” of GUIs are a key representation of companies and their brands (remember the smartphone wars?). Companies and their counsel can turn to design patent protection to safeguard GUIs from being copied or imitated.

GUI patents/registrations continue worldwide growth as more countries recognize them. Counsel must assure protection of design rights extends globally. Counsel must know which countries offer GUI protections and how to take advantage of available protections.

Listen as our authoritative panel of patent attorneys discusses the advantages and disadvantages of using design patents to protect GUIs and why design patents should be used for GUIs. The panel will also review design patent protection for GUIs around the world and offer approaches for getting design patent protection for GUIs.



  1. Using design patents to protect GUIs
    1. Overview
    2. Historical context
    3. Current prosecution practices
    4. Advantages and disadvantages
    5. Why design patents for GUIs
    6. Obtaining design patent protection for GUIs
    7. Enforcement
  2. Design patent protection for GUIs around the world


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of protecting GUIs with design patents?
  • What is the status of design patent protection around the world? What countries permit design patents?
  • What steps should counsel employ to protect GUIs with design patents?


Durkin, Tracy-Gene
Tracy-Gene Durkin

Sterne Kessler Goldstein & Fox

Ms. Durkin heads the firm’s Mechanical and Design Patent Group. With nearly 30 years of experience obtaining...  |  Read More

Katz, Robert
Robert S. Katz

Principal Shareholder
Banner & Witcoff

In his practice, Mr. Katz has helped procure over 6,000 design patents in the U.S. and over 18,000 design...  |  Read More

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