Over 100 leading design professionals file amicus brief in support of Apple in Court case against Samsung

More than 100 designers have filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court on Thursday, pledging their support for Apple in its ongoing patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung.

The 63-page filing begins by asserting to the court that visual design frequently becomes the product itself, in the minds of consumers. Names on the list include Dieter Rams, Calvin Klein, and Norman Foster.

As a major example, the designers cited Coca-Cola, noting that the product was originally housed in a simple glass container that was easy for competitors to copy.

Coca-Cola pivoted and created what would become its iconic contour-shaped bottle, with its cursive logo across the front — a change cited as the main catalyst in making it the most widely distributed product in the world.

“The contour bottle represents more than just marketing for the brand — it has become synonymous with the beverage itself,” the filing reads.

“Customers routinely report that Coca-Cola tastes better when consumed from the contour bottle, though there is no difference in the formula.”

The designers argue that not only does design drive sales of consumer products, but particularly in the technology industry, successful designs allow companies to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

In the brief, the designers assert that Samsung’s infringement in 2012 should affect its profits. They also state that Samsung’s arguments in the case are based on “a fundamental misunderstanding of design patents,” and that the court should decline to adopt the “totality of the circumstances” test for identifying an article of manufacture.

The filing states that the amici have no personal interest in the outcome of the dispute — many of the signees have consulted for both Apple and Samsung.

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