The United States Supreme Court has released its decision in Samsung v. Apple regarding the damages for design infringement. Finding in favour of Samsung, the court held that in the case of a multicomponent product, the relevant “article of manufacture” for arriving at a §289 damages award need not be the end product sold to the consumer but may be only a component of that product. The $399 million damages award was reversed and the proceeding remanded back to the Federal Circuit.
The court stated (PDF):
This case involves the infringement of designs for smartphones. The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit identified the entire smartphone as the only permissible “article of manufacture” for the purpose of calculating §289 damages because consumers could not separately purchase components of the smartphones. The question before us is whether that reading is consistent with §289. We hold that it is not.
This case requires us to address a threshold matter: the scope of the term “article of manufacture.” The only question we resolve today is whether, in the case of a multicomponent product, the relevant “article of manufacture” must always be the end product sold to the consumer or whether it can also be a component of that product.
The term “article of manufacture,” as used in §289, encompasses both a product sold to a consumer and a component of that product.
- “Supreme Court rules that design patent statute term “article of manufacture” can be an end product or component thereof (Samsung v. Apple)”, Essential Patent Blog
- Samsung v. Apple: Design Patent Damages May be Limited to Components, Patently-O
- Supreme Court Opinion in Samsung v. Apple: Analysis, Comparative Patent Remedies
- Supreme Court agrees with Samsung: Federal Court got design patent damages ($399 million for Apple) wrong, FOSS Patents