Samsung v. Apple

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Samsung v. Apple

The Supreme Court will weigh in on this landmark case later this year. This could be the design debate of the century raising the issue of the value of design. What's your take?

This is an important case, but I think its a mistake to equate it as a statement on the value of design. This may be an IDSA reaction to poor (and wrongly overreaching) arguments made by a group of law professors devaluing importance of appearance/design in product success. At this point the real issue it is about the apportioning of full product profits for design patents that only claim a portion of a design (or even a portion of a portion) and some other holes in design patent law.

The relative increased value (scope) of a design patent by claiming less in a later issued child patent may be a boon for the patent holder. But when by surprise later issued patents isolate which otherwise would be a common design element (like a sole recessed round button) it also increases the chance that a designer will inadvertently design infringing details into taken as a whole dissimilar products. This is in spite of the mandate we hold dear to create original differentiated products.

Thank you for your comment, John. The apportionment issue is central to the case as you point out. The decision to place this topic under the value of design theme was more about recognizing the value of industrial design to our economy which was a central theme of the IDSA amicus brief.