A Court's Chance To Limit Law Of Unintended Consequences

Law360, New York (September 22, 2015, 10:28 AM EDT) -- Sometimes, the cure proves worse than the problem. So it is with the law of damages for design patents. In the 19th century, Congress was unhappy with a series of U.S. Supreme Court rulings awarding carpet makers only $.06 in damages for infringement of a patent. So Congress passed a law that became 35 U.S.C. § 289, a law that makes defendants who infringe a design patent on any "article of manufacture … liable to the owner to the extent of his total profit." This provision creates a damages remedy for design patents that is different from the damages for more...

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