The Importance of The Design Patent to Modern Day Technology: The Supreme Court’s Decision to Narrow The Damages Clause in Samsung v. Apple

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Volume 18, Online Edition (Apr 2017)

With the rapid growth of technological innovations in today’s society, manufacturers are in constant competition with one another to produce the best looking and most distinct products on the consumer market. To prevent an inventor’s new and unique design from replication, Congress established the design patent to protect the appearance of any new, original, and ornamental design from infringement, and to allow a patent holder to collect the total profits accrued by an infringing design. However, at the time of the statute’s creation, the drafters were likely unable to foresee the surge in technological advancements that are present today, which calls into question the influence of a design patent over today’s technology. This Recent Development argues that the Supreme Court has weakened the force of the design patent at the detriment of designers through its narrow interpretation of the design patent damages clause in the holding of Samsung v. Apple.

Sarah Burnick, The Importance of The Design Patent to Modern Day Technology: The Supreme Court’s Decision to Narrow The Damages Clause in Samsung v. Apple, 18 N.C.J.L. & Tech. On. 283 (2017), http://ncjolt.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Burnick_Final2-copy.pdf.

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