Perhaps furniture companies are becoming more innovative or perhaps just because spring is in the air, but in any event several manufacturers are touting intellectual property with respect to their furniture. Bedding producer Eclipse International announced it received a patent on its "Zoned Quilt Technology" for mattresses. According to Eclipse, the technology eliminates body impressions and provides additional support in the center-third of the mattress. Moving from bedding to recliners, Barcalounger announced recently that it is seeking patent protection on one chair in its new Surround Lounge collection. Barcalounger says the chair is similar to a business class airline seat (is this a selling point?) and that the chair received rave reviews at the April High Point Market. Interestingly, Barcalounger does not indicate whether it is seeking utility and/or design patents on the chair.

So, what's the point of all this? Whenever you receive a patent or apply for a patent it may be worth tooting your own horn. For example, announcing that you applied for a patent on a piece that you believe may be knocked off is may be a way saying "hey - back off!" Similarly, announcing that you received a patent may be a good marketing tool. In either event, you get additional mileage out the rights bestowed by the patents themselves.