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Patent question - Can a QR code be patented?

Ahron Krasnow

Patent question - Can a QR code be patented?
« on: January 28, 2019, 08:29:32 PM »
Hi,
Can a QR code be patented? Meaning, can you use a QR code as a design/logo for a clothing company and get a patent for that?
« Last Edit: January 29, 2019, 09:15:21 AM by Brad »

Brad

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Re: Patent question
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2019, 09:15:05 AM »
This is actually an interesting (and challenging) question.

Without doing a lot of research on this my initial response would be "no".  A logo cannot be patented and instead you should look into a trademark or service mark:  https://www.logomaker.com/blog/2014/05/13/comes-logo-design-patent-copyright-trademark/

Furthermore, the general idea of using QR codes is no longer patentable using a "utility" patent, even if your code is unique and looks different from other codes.


However, there are cases where you can patent "computer generated icons" using a design patent but generally these have to be displayed on a computer or phone screen:  https://www.bitlaw.com/source/mpep/1504_01_a.html


So to give you my quick (free) non-legal opinion - if you are talking about printing a tee shirt or or some "article" and as part of your new design you want to include a unique QR code I would say "maybe" this could be protected by a new design type patent (not a utility patent).   If however you are just thinking of ways to protect your brand/logo I would say a patent is not used for that purpose and instead look at trademarks. 

*Sorry I don't have a clear answer for you but without doing some real research here (which costs time and money) this is just a best guess. 
« Last Edit: January 29, 2019, 09:18:48 AM by Brad »
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