IP360 commissioned Rick to write an article about U.S. design law, which is best described as an awkward patchwork, through the lens of Texas antitrust case, of all things. That case involves traffic barriers and the Texas’ decision to require little V-cuts where the barriers meet. Both the plaintiff and the defendant manufacture traffic barriers. When the plaintiff complied with this requirement, the defendant accused it of infringing its trade dress in those V-cuts. At first blush, this is contradictory because trade dress shouldn’t cover anything that’s functional. The plaintiff suspects the defendant convinced Texas to adopt the V-cuts as a means of gaining a monopoly over traffic barriers in Texas. But the defendant has the First Amendment right to petition government on its side. Read all about it, Trademark Case at the Intersection of Antitrust and Design Law (subscription required).