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4 - Seeing Design

from Part II - Understanding Audiences for Art and Advertising

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 July 2022

Mark Bartholomew
Affiliation:
University of Buffalo School of Law
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Summary

Design patents are meant to promote designs that are “pleasing,” “attractive,” and “beautiful.” Yet judges fret that they will inject their own prejudices into such aesthetic determinations and have adopted a permissive nonobviousness standard that only rejects designs when they are exact copies of what came before. Neuroscience sheds light on the mechanics of design perception and appreciation. Visual processing is arguably the best understood mental process in modern neuroscience. Recent studies show that aesthetic preference is strongly tied to the ease with which an observer can mentally process a particular design. Although a limited amount of innovation may be needed to gain the observer’s attention, consumers insist on simplicity, familiarity, and congruence in designs. Rather than correlating with what an audience considers pleasing, innovation in design, after rapidly reaching an optimal level, begins to trigger aesthetic distaste. I use a variety of examples from popular products and actual cases—like Herman Miller’s Aeron chair and Lego blocks—to illustrate this audience preference for designs in the “aesthetic middle.”

Type
Chapter
Information
Intellectual Property and the Brain
How Neuroscience Will Reshape Legal Protection for Creations of the Mind
, pp. 88 - 101
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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  • Seeing Design
  • Mark Bartholomew
  • Book: Intellectual Property and the Brain
  • Online publication: 14 July 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009189545.007
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  • Seeing Design
  • Mark Bartholomew
  • Book: Intellectual Property and the Brain
  • Online publication: 14 July 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009189545.007
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Seeing Design
  • Mark Bartholomew
  • Book: Intellectual Property and the Brain
  • Online publication: 14 July 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009189545.007
Available formats
×