Ninth Circuit Allows Competitor to Copy Leatherman's "Pocket Survival Tool"
Morgan Lewis Title
published on:January 2000
downloads/links:View White Paper
The Ninth Circuit made it easier to knock-off unpatented products. In a case involving the well-known Leatherman “Pocket Survival Tool,” the Court held there was no trade dress protection for that tool even where a competitor admitted selling an almost exact copy.
On December 17, 1999, in Leatherman Tool Group, Inc. v. Cooper Industries, Inc., the Ninth Circuit ruled that, in a product configuration case, where the product is nothing more than an assemblage of functional parts, and the individual parts are arranged or combined a certain way to result in superior performance, the overall appearance of the product is not protectable as trade dress.
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