Since the enactment of the America Invents Act (AIA) in 2011, U.S. patent law has undergone a period of transition. Patent cases before the Supreme Court this term, including one already decided, promise that the coming year will be no different. The court also will decide cases concerning trademark and copyright issues. The following cases will continue to reshape IP law in 2017.

Samsung Electronics Co. v. Apple, No. 15-777

Argued in October and decided in December 2016, Samsung Electronics Co. v. Apple ruled that, for design patent infringement, damages may derive from the profits from a component rather than profits from the entire product. Design patents, as opposed to utility patents, protect the unique look of an “article of manufacture.” The court’s opinion interpreted “article of manufacture” and ruled that “article” has a broad meaning and could refer to a particular thing.

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