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Supreme Court Chimes in to Limit Damages to Single Components of Design Patents

Yesterday’s SCOTUS decision in the ongoing Apple-Samsung patent infringement dispute redefines how lower courts interpret “articles of manufacture.” The decision left much to be desired regarding standard rules of law and future application of certain patent statutes, passing the torch to the Federal Circuit to determine tests and standards for future cases.

Yesterday’s SCOTUS decision in the ongoing Apple-Samsung patent infringement dispute redefines how lower courts interpret “articles of manufacture.” The decision left much to be desired regarding standard rules of law and future application of certain patent statutes, passing the torch to the Federal Circuit to determine tests and standards for future cases.

Despite these areas of uncertainty, this decision will likely cause a negative impact on design patent owners’ claim for damages by limiting profit awards where the design in dispute is within a multi-component product, rather than a single-component product. Damages will no longer include profit disgorgement from sales of the product as a whole, but may be restricted to those profits associated with the individual, patented design component of the product.