Lance Rake

I’m a practicing industrial designer, but also a professor, a Fulbright scholar, and sometimes an expert witness in legal matters. In all my work I look for innovative, elegant, and practical solutions that are powerfully and clearly expressed.

Successful companies like Nike and Apple have taught us all the strategic value of great industrial design. It’s a relentless pursuit that requires top down commitment. Every line, surface, shape and detail works together to become a distinctive expression of the company which makes it and the culture which accepts it. It is easy to see why good industrial design has tremendous intrinsic value which deserves maximum protection.

The challenge of protecting and defending industrial design rights often relies on compelling expert witness testimony. Design experts must understand the visual, functional, business, and manufacturing dimensions that influence our culture and resonate with the public. An expert needs the education and experience, but also the skillset and ability to explain verbally and visually exactly why two designs may appear similar to ordinary consumers. I was one of the “113 Distinguished Industrial Design Professionals” to sign the Amicus Brief in support of Apple in the recent Apple v. Samsung Supreme Court decision.

I enjoy the challenge of being asked to serve as a legal expert- it pulls together the full extent of my experience as a design educator, practitioner, writer, and presenter. The work is creative, demanding, precise, and intensely scrutinized. I have worked with some of the top legal firms in the US on a broad range of projects – each requiring the unique perspective of a qualified, multifaceted industrial designer. In June, 2008, I was qualified to serve as an expert design witness by the Industrial Designers Society of America.

I have prepared myself for this challenge with 2 degrees in industrial design, 40 years as a practicing design professional, and 35 years as a design educator. Honored as a Fulbright Senior Scholar in 2015 and currently Professor of Industrial Design at the University of Kansas, I have also taught or lectured in New Zealand, Sweden, Israel, South Africa, India, Nepal, and Finland. As a practitioner I have worked on designs for boat, motorcoach, and aircraft interiors, consumer electronics, footwear, lawnmowers, motorcycles, bicycles, paddleboards, fencing equipment, plastic tool boxes, home exercise equipment, audio amplifiers, fishing bobbers, bags, portfolios, snowmobiles, playing cards, skateboards, furniture, packaging, exhibitions and displays, space heaters, microfiche readers, clothes hangers, condiment dispensers, medical products, farm products, lawn tractors, string trimmers, inflatables, and car care products.

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To me, industrial design is about creating things that in some tangible way make people’s lives better. I’m a practicing designer, but also an educator, a Fulbright scholar, and sometimes an expert witness in legal matters. In all my work I look for innovative, elegant, and practical solutions that are simply and clearly expressed.

2016

Blakely Law Group, Manhattan Beach, CA
Design report supporting Deckers/ Uggs Australia in a design patent dispute.

2016

WilmerHale, Los Angeles, CA.
Design report in support of Nike in a utility patent dispute.

2016

Woodard, Emhardt, Moriarty, McNett & Henry LLP, Indianapolis, IN
Representing Knauf Insulation before USPTO

2015

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, Menlo Park, CA
Represented Belkin in a utility patent infringement case

2015

Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, New York, NY
Design Expert for Reexamination of Apple iPhone design patents before USPTO

2014

Alston & Bird, LLP. Palo Alto, CA
Expert witness for light reflectors design patent case before the ITC

2014

Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP, Washington DC
Design Declaration before the Appeal Board, USPTO (housewares)

2013-2014

Winston & Strawn, LLP, Los Angeles, CA
Design Analysis for utility patent infringement case (laptop and tablet accessories)

2013-2014

Kelly IP, LLP, Washington DC
Design Declaration before the Appeal Board, USPTO (electronic cables)

2013-2014

Alston & Bird, LLP. New York, NY.
Design Analysis and Report, for car & truck tires design patent case before the ITC

2013

Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP, Washington DC
Design Declaration supporting Nikon in a design patent infringement case

2013

Oblon, Spivak, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt, L.L.P. Alexandria, VA
Design declaration supporting BDI in the High Point design patent infringement case.

2012

Amster Rothstein & Ebenstein LLP.
New York, NY
Design Analysis for design patent infringement case (bedroom slippers)

2011-2012

Miller Canfield, Chicago, IL
Design Analysis, Report for a design patent infringement case (bedroom slippers)

2011-2012

White & Case, LLP. New York, NY.
Design Analysis, Report, and Deposition Testimony for USB Drive design patent case before the ITC

2010-2011

Baker Botts L.L.P., Houston, TX.
Invalidity report supporting Pepsi v. Coca Cola in a design patent infringement case (juice bottle caps).

2010-2011

Polsinelli Shughart, P.C., St. Louis, MO.
Design Analysis, Report, for a design patent infringement case (refrigerated floral cases).

2009

Husch Blackwell Sanders LLP, St. Louis, MO.
Color Analysis, for a trade dress case.

2008

Allen, Dyer, Doppelt, Mibrath & Gilchrist, P.A., Orlando, FL.
Design Analysis, for a design patent infringement case (apparel).

2008

Allen & Vellone, P.C., Denver, CO.
Design Report supporting Australia Unlimited v. Crocs, design patent infringement case (apparel).

2007-2009

Wooten, Honeywell, Kimbrough, Gibson, Doherty and Normand, P.A., Orlando, FL.
Design Analysis, Testing, for a product liability case (consumer seating).

2000-2001

Holbrook Law Office, Orlando, FL.
Design Analysis, Testing, for a product liability case (contract seating).

1999-2000

Rausch Hendicks German May, Kansas City, MO.
Defense expert for design patent infringement case.

1998

Skepnek & Maddox, Lawrence, KS. Center for Design Research The University of Kansas.
Created forensic computer animation for a medical malpractice case.

1994-1996

Purdy & Flynn, Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Design Investigation, Analysis, Modeling for a product liability case.

1992-1994

Holbrook & Hardy, Orlando, FL.
Design Investigation, Analysis, Modeling for a product liability case.

Through these projects I have gained valuable experience in the areas of footwear design, furniture and retail fixtures, consumer electronics, packaging, and apparel design- I feel strongly that principles of design, like the principles of design patent law, apply evenly to all manmade artifacts. I will be more than happy to discuss any current or future projects you have that might benefit from an informed industrial design perspective.