Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
  • U
  • Unique Concepts, Inc. v. BrownUnique Concepts, Inc. v. Brown
From our private database of 16,800+ case briefs...

Unique Concepts, Inc. v. Brown

United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
939 F.2d 1558 (1991)


U.S. Patent No. 4,018,260 disclosed an assembly of border pieces used to attach fabric wall hangings to walls. As originally filed, the patent application included 14 claims. Claim 1 described the assembly as made up of linear border pieces and right angle corner border pieces. Claim 9, which depended from Claim 1, described corner pieces formed by fitting together two mitered linear pieces. The Patent and Trademark Office initially rejected the patent application as unpatentable, finding that similar framing arrangements already existed. The amended patent application canceled various claims, including Claim 9. Thereafter, the patent was issued and exclusively licensed to Unique Concepts, Inc. (Unique) (plaintiff). As issued, Claim 1 of the patent described an assembly of “linear border pieces and right angle corner border pieces.” The included drawings illustrated preformed corner pieces, and the specification referred to these preformed pieces. The specification also briefly mentioned “improvised corner pieces,” which could be made by mitering two linear border pieces and fitting them together at a right angle, as an alternative to preformed corner pieces. Unique filed suit against Kevin Brown (defendant), claiming that products manufactured by Brown infringed the patent because the products used mitered linear pieces fit together to form a corner of a frame. The district court ruled in Brown’s favor, finding no infringement because the patent language covered only preformed corner pieces and not the type of pieces used in Brown’s products. Unique appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Lourie, J.)

Dissent (Rich, 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 450,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read 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. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 450,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 16,800 briefs, keyed to 224 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.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial