You're misrepresenting the opinion. The opinion is not "Oh, let's go back to the incremental value added by the patented technology as the yardstick for profitability"
I never said it was. I said they're disregarding the explicit language of a long-standing statute and previous Congress-slap of the court, and replacing it with "you want a test? Go make one up." And sadly that's not a misrepresentation. It's barely even a paraphrase.
In the carpet's case, 100% of the carpet violates the patent, regardless of whether you compare it to a beige carpet or not.
Flip over a carpet sometime. You'll see a standard mat that the fibers are woven into that is the same, regardless of design. That mat is a substantial part of the carpet, literally holding it together.
Reading the opinion, they're not just making up that criterion. The "article of manufacture" concept is long standing in the patent world, and it would certainly mean a complete shake up of patents if patents ceased to apply to components, and only to the whole of a completed product. (Whether that's a good or bad thing I'll leave to the lawyers.)
Yes, but it's not necessary to redefine article of manufacture. Going back to the 1887 statute, the phrase was "the total profit made by him from the manufacture or sale. . . of the article or articles to which the design, or colorable imitation thereof, has been applied.” And this was preserved in the 1952 Act, saying:
Whoever during the term of a patent for a design, without license of the owner, (1) applies the patented design, or any colorable imitation thereof, to any article of manufacture for the purpose of sale, or (2) sells or exposes for sale any article of manufacture to which such design or colorable imitation has been applied shall be liable to the owner to the extent of his total profit, but not less than $250...
So the question is not "what's an article of manufacture, is it just a component", but "to what has the design been applied". And there, it seems that you can either say, "it's applied to the product", or you can go to ever narrower levels of "it's applied to a case... well, part of the case... well, really just the surface of part of the case... well, just the paint on the surface of part of the case... but not the primer either..."