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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 Q, the son of Q and Q, was played by Keegan de Lancie, the son of John de Lancie?

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Today in Trek history

Today is
Wednesday
Oct 2014
1896
Abraham Sofaer is born.
1931
Loren Janes is born.
1938
Tony Epper is born.
1947
Stephen Collins is born.
1950
Natalia Nogulich is born.
1954
Steve Kelso is born.
1964
Estee Chandler is born.
1965
Edward J. Franklin is born.
Stephen Welke is born.
1968
Jay Underwood is born.
1972
Marcus Young is born.
1974
Nicholas Lanier is born.
1975
Darlena Tejeiro is born.
1976
Edwin Garcia is born.
1987
Fourth day of filming on TNG: "Hide and Q".
The score for TNG: "Haven" is recorded at Paramount Stage M.
1990
TNG: "Family" airs.
Final draft script for TNG: "The Loss" is submitted.
CIC Video releases Original Series volumes 32 & 33 and Next Generation volume 6 on VHS in the UK.
1991
Third day of filming on TNG: "A Matter of Time".
1993
Third day of filming on TNG: "Inheritance".
1994
Pocket TNG Starfleet Academy novel Line of Fire published.
1995
Pocket TNG Starfleet Academy novel Starfall published.
Pocket Books novel Federation published.
Pocket TNG novel The Last Stand published.
1996
Pocket TOS Starfleet Academy novel Cadet Kirk published.
Pocket VOY novel Flashback published.
1997
VOY: "Revulsion" airs.
Pocket VOY Day of Honor novel Her Klingon Soul published.
Pocket TOS Day of Honor novel Treaty's Law published.
The Art of Star Trek, paperback edition, published.
1998
Pocket Books The Dominion War novel Behind Enemy Lines published.
Pocket Books The Dominion War novel Call to Arms published.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Technical Manual published.
Pocket Books Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Continuing Mission published.
1999
Final day of filming on VOY: "Fair Haven".
Pocket TOS novel Across the Universe published.
2000
Rittenhouse Archives releases their Seven of Nine: Women of Star Trek Extension trading card set.
2001
Pocket ENT novel Broken Bow published.
Pocket Books Gateways novel No Man's Land published.
Pocket Books Gateways novel Cold Wars published.
Paramount Home Entertainment releases Next Generation volume 4.8 and Voyager volume 7.8 on VHS in the UK.
TNN begins airing its Next Gen on TNN: A 5-Day Mission marathon event, including the documentary America Loves... Star Trek.
2002
Seventh and final day of filming on ENT: "Singularity".
Pocket TOS novel Captain's Peril published.
Pocket DS9 Mission Gamma novel Cathedral published.
2003
Julie Parrish dies.
ENT: "Rajiin" airs.
First day of filming on ENT: "Similitude".
Second unit filming on ENT: "North Star".
Pocket Books The Lost Era novel The Art of the Impossible published.
Pocket Books Star Trek: New Frontier novel Gods Above published.
Pocket Books Star Trek: New Frontier novel Stone and Anvil published.
2004
Seventh and final day of filming on ENT: "Awakening". Vulcan Council chambers scenes are filmed today.
2009
Sebastian Tom dies.
Unknown year
Evan English is born.

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