This year seems to be important for industrial models or their
US equivalent, "patent designs," as the Supreme Courts of
both the US and Argentina are issuing rulings on this area.
The U.S. case has not been decided yet but is causing great buzz
because it involves several types of intellectual property rights
including patent designs over the iPhone, which Apple claimed are
infringed by Samsung.
A large amount of monetary damages were first established by a
jury in California in 2012 consisting of $US 930 million but were
afterwards lowered to $US 548 million in 2015 (of those $US 399
million corresponded to infringement of patent designs), as
described here. In June 2016 the Argentine Supreme Court
overturned a decision issue by the Court of Appeals on Federal
Civil and Commercial Matters seated in the city or Rosario.
The case started in 2004 by Industrias Arial against the related
companies Fundemap and B.C.O. SRL based on the infringement of an
industrial model registered by the plaintiff in 2002 with the
Argentine PTO (INPI) entitled "GNC reducer".
Some of the drawings filed with the INPI and describing the
scope of the protected design do so in the following way:
In first and second instances the judge found that the defendant
infringed the industrial model and awarded almost 3 million pesos
(equal to US$ 500,000 in 2013 when the Court of Appeal issued its
Both rulings rejected the claim of invalidity brought by the
defendant because the judged considered that it should have been
promoted in a separate judicial action, which was repeatedly
appealed by Fundemat.
The Supreme Court finally agreed with the defendant basing its
ruling on the facts that industrial model applications are only
subject to formal examination and there is no substantive
examination carried out to analyze the novelty, originality and
Industrial models are usually recorded by INPI within less than
a month from their filing date but the disadvantage of that is that
they only grant a weak presumption related to their validity, which
is always determined by federal judges.
Now the case is going back to the Court of Appeals of the City
of Rosario for a new ruling.
Please be informed that the devaluation of 59% on the exchange rate used to calculate the official fees for foreign IP owners announced by the Government on February 18 has been finally published in the Official Gazette No. 40.865.
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