Smartphone cases - Built to survive drops, floods - and lawsuits?
An attorney for Cell-Nerds, Ury Fisher, said the company does not think Ballistic has accurately described its trade dress rights, and he noted that such cases are difficult to prove because plaintiffs have to show their product is readily recognizable to consumers.
An attorney for Boxwave did not respond to a request for comment.
For patent-based lawsuits to succeed, plaintiffs will need to prove another company is infringing their patents and may also have to show what is innovative about their designs and worthy of protection.
If found to infringe, some companies could be forced out of the market, said intellectual property attorney Christopher Carani of law firm McAndrews, Held & Malloy.
So far, however, the in-fighting among case designers does not show signs of slowing down the industry.
Casemakers have trotted out models they say are tricked out to withstand two tons of force or can be used to film movies underwater. At the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas -- where new case designs seemed to be on display everywhere -- one maker even showed off a case lined in soft orange putty that is designed to become "rock hard" if the phone is dropped.
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