Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

Design of Prison Telephone Held Not To Infringe Patent

On June 18, 2008, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a judgment of non-infringement in a patent dispute over the design of a prison telephone.

TIP Systems, LLC patented the design of a telephone for use in prisons that does not include a cord or handset. Rather, the mouth and earpieces protrude from the phone itself. The phone was designed without a handset or cord in order to prevent individuals from using the cord to hang themselves or as a weapon.

Other companies involved in the provision of the telephone services to prisoners developed similar phones. TIP sued these companies claiming infringement. The district court rejected TIP’s claims. TIP appealed.

The Federal Circuit affirmed. The phones that TIP alleged were infringing on its patent had subtle differences, according to the court. For instance, the mouth and earpieces on the alleged infringing phones did not protrude from the phone. Instead, they were flush with the phone’s casing, See: TIP Systems, LLC V. Phillips and brooks/Gladwin, Inc., 529 F.3d 1364 (Fed. Cir. 2008).

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login