United States Code/Title 17/Chapter 13/Sections 1321 to 1323

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§ 1321—Remedy for infringement

(a) IN GENERAL.—The owner of a design is entitled, after issuance of a certificate of registration of the design under this chapter, to institute an action for any infringement of the design.


(1) Subject to paragraph (2), the owner of a design may seek judicial review of a final refusal of the Administrator to register the design under this chapter by bringing a civil action, and may in the same action, if the court adjudges the design subject to protection under this chapter, enforce the rights in that design under this chapter.
(2) The owner of a design may seek judicial review under this section if—
(A) the owner has previously duly filed and prosecuted to final refusal an application in proper form for registration of the design;
(B) the owner causes a copy of the complaint in the action to be delivered to the Administrator within 10 days after the commencement of the action; and
(C) the defendant has committed acts in respect to the design which would constitute infringement with respect to a design protected under this chapter.

(c) ADMINISTRATOR AS PARTY TO ACTION.—The Administrator may, at the Administrator's option, become a party to the action with respect to the issue of registrability of the design claim by entering an appearance within 60 days after being served with the complaint, but the failure of the Administrator to become a party shall not deprive the court of jurisdiction to determine that issue.

(d) USE OF ARBITRATION TO RESOLVE DISPUTE.—The parties to an infringement dispute under this chapter, within such time as may be specified by the Administrator by regulation, may determine the dispute, or any aspect of the dispute, by arbitration. Arbitration shall be governed by title 9. The parties shall give notice of any arbitration award to the Administrator, and such award shall, as between the parties to the arbitration, be dispositive of the issues to which it relates. The arbitration award shall be unenforceable until such notice is given. Nothing in this subsection shall preclude the Administrator from determining whether a design is subject to registration in a cancellation proceeding under section 1313(c).

§ 1322—Injunctions

(a) IN GENERAL.—A court having jurisdiction over actions under this chapter may grant injunctions in accordance with the principles of equity to prevent infringement of a design under this chapter, including, in its discretion, prompt relief by temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions.

(b) DAMAGES FOR INJUNCTIVE RELIEF WRONGFULLY OBTAINED.—A seller or distributor who suffers damage by reason of injunctive relief wrongfully obtained under this section has a cause of action against the applicant for such injunctive relief and may recover such relief as may be appropriate, including damages for lost profits, cost of materials, loss of good will, and punitive damages in instances where the injunctive relief was sought in bad faith, and, unless the court finds extenuating circumstances, reasonable attorney's fees.

§ 1323—Recovery for infringement

(a) DAMAGES.—Upon a finding for the claimant in an action for infringement under this chapter, the court shall award the claimant damages adequate to compensate for the infringement. In addition, the court may increase the damages to such amount, not exceeding $50,000 or $1 per copy, whichever is greater, as the court determines to be just. The damages awarded shall constitute compensation and not a penalty. The court may receive expert testimony as an aid to the determination of damages.

(b) INFRINGER'S PROFITS.—As an alternative to the remedies provided in subsection (a), the court may award the claimant the infringer's profits resulting from the sale of the copies if the court finds that the infringer's sales are reasonably related to the use of the claimant’s design. In such a case, the claimant shall be required to prove only the amount of the infringer's sales and the infringer shall be required to prove its expenses against such sales.

(c) STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS.—No recovery under subsection (a) or (b) shall be had for any infringement committed more than 3 years before the date on which the complaint is filed.

(d) ATTORNEY'S FEES.—In an action for infringement under this chapter, the court may award reasonable attorney's fees to the prevailing party.

(e) DISPOSITION OF INFRINGING AND OTHER ARTICLES.—The court may order that all infringing articles, and any plates, molds, patterns, models, or other means specifically adapted for making the articles, be delivered up for destruction or other disposition as the court may direct.

Amendment history[edit]

Sections 1321 to 1323 were added by sec. 502 of the Vessel Hull Design Protection Act (Pub. L. 105-304, Oct. 28, 1998, 112 Stat. 2860), with effect from October 28, 1998.