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Akron Law Publications

2007

Blank forms doctine

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Design Patents: An Alternative When The Low Standards Of Copyright Are Too High?, Ryan G. Vacca Jan 2007

Design Patents: An Alternative When The Low Standards Of Copyright Are Too High?, Ryan G. Vacca

Akron Law Publications

The standard for copyright protection is notoriously low the work must be independently created by the author and possess a minimal degree of creativity. Even with this low standard, blank forms, and other forms which do not convey information, are categorically denied copyright protection. In contrast, the standard for design patent protection is much more burdensome. Design patents protect news, original, ornamental, and non-obvious designs. Even though there is a higher standard, the Patent and Trademark Office has issued design patents for blank forms.

This article explores the blank forms doctrine in copyright law, articulated in Baker v. Selden. Later ...