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In In Re Maatita, 900 F. 3d. 1369 (2018), the inventor filed a design patent application for a shoe sole that included only a single, two-dimensional, plan-view drawing of the shoe. The patent examiner at the USPTO rejected the application as not satisfying the enablement and definiteness requirements of 35 U.S.C. §112. The examiner concluded that the two-dimensional drawing was subject to multiple interpretations of the depth and contour of the claimed elements. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board affirmed the examiner’s rejection. The U.S. Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit reversed, concluding that even though shoe bottoms can have three-dimensional aspects, their ornamental design can be adequately discerned from a two-dimensional, plan drawing; therefore, Maatita’s two-dimensional drawing clearly demonstrated the perspective from which the shoe bottom should be viewed. Furthermore, the court further concluded that Maatita’s failure to disclose all possible depth choices would not preclude an ordinary observer from understanding the claimed design, which was adequately represented in the two-dimensional drawing.

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