Best Lock v. Ilco Unican

94 F.3d 1563 (1996)

From our private database of 45,900+ case briefs, written and edited by humans—never with AI.

Best Lock v. Ilco Unican

United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
94 F.3d 1563 (1996)

Facts

Best Lock Corporation (Best) (plaintiff) owned a design patent for a key blade, the portion of a key inserted into a lock’s keyway. Best also owned a design patent for the corresponding keyway. Ilco Unican (Ilco) (defendant) copied Best’s patented key-blade design, and Best sued Ilco in federal district court for patent infringement. The district court held that Best’s key-blade design patent was invalid, finding that the shape of the key blade was dictated by its function. Best appealed, asserting that although a particular key and its corresponding lock must match to operate the lock, an unlimited number of key-blade and corresponding keyway designs were available. Therefore, Best argued, the key blade could have many different shapes and was not dictated solely by function. The parties did not dispute that the key blade at issue must be designed as shown in the patent in order to perform its intended function, fitting into its corresponding lock’s keyway.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Lourie, J.)

Dissent (Newman, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 733,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.

    Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 733,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,900 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 733,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 45,900 briefs - keyed to 984 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership