Friday, August 12, 2016

Briefs in Samsung v. Apple Design Patent Damages Case

Below are links to all of the briefs available on the Scotus Blog in the Samsung v. Apple design patent damages case now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.  In case you're late to the topic, section 289 of the U.S. Patent Act reads:
Whoever during the term of a patent for a design, without license of the owner, (1) applies the patented design, or any colorable imitation thereof, to any article of manufacture for the purpose of sale, or (2) sells or exposes for sale any article of manufacture to which such design or colorable imitation has been applied shall be liable to the owner to the extent of his total profit, but not less than $250, recoverable in any United States district court having jurisdiction of the parties.
Nothing in this section shall prevent, lessen, or impeach any other remedy which an owner of an infringed patent has under the provisions of this title, but he shall not twice recover the profit made from the infringement.
The Federal Circuit reads this provision as requiring the disgorgement of the defendant’s entire profit from the sale of design patent-infringing articles, even if the design patent in suit accounts for only a small portion of that profit.  Such a rule has no plausible economic justification, in my view, though it is possible (though not inevitable) that the Supreme Court will agree that this is what Congress intended when it enacted section 289's predecessor statute back in the nineteenth century.  (For previous discussion on this blog, see, e.g., here.)  The question presented is "Where a design patent is applied to only a component of a product, should an award of infringer’s profits be limited to those profits attributable to the component?"

Here are the briefs:

Samsung's Opening Brief, which I previously blogged about here.

I'll note when Samsung files its reply brief, which should sometime be next week, I think.  Oral argument is scheduled for October 11.  Florian Mueller has a write-up on the latest round of amicus briefs on FOSS Patents, and Dennis Crouch on the Apple brief and some of the recent amicus briefs on Patently-O.

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