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New Breed of Patent Claim Bedevils Product Makers

Sep 02, 2010, 15:04 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dionne Searcey)

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" Raymond E. Stauffer was shopping at a New Jersey mall when he noticed something peculiar about the bow ties on display at Brooks Brothers: They were labeled with old patent numbers.

"Mr. Stauffer, who calls himself a "sharp-dressed man," also happens to be a patent lawyer. He sued Brooks Brothers Inc. in federal court, claiming it broke the law by marking its adjustable bow ties with patents that expired in the 1950s.

"He figured the retailer would have to pay a nominal amount for violating a law that bars companies from marking products with erroneous patent numbers."

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