Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. v. Apple, Inc.

When a product sold to a consumer is a multi-component product and the defendant has infringed a design patent on only some of the product’s many components, the damages may be calculated as the profit on those components, rather than the entire multi-component product sold to consumers.  Under 35 USC 289, damages for infringement of a design patent are the infringer’s entire profit on the article of manufacture to which the design patent applies.  This decision holds that when a product sold to a consumer is a multi-component product and the defendant has infringed a design patent on only some of the product’s many components, the damages may be calculated as the profit on those components, not the entire multi-component product sold to consumers.  The decision does not specify any test for determining which is the relevant article of manufacture in an individual case.

United States Supreme Court (Sotomayor, J.); December 6, 2016; 2016 WL 7078449

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