The article mentions the 2007 ITC decision about Keystone Automotive.
Of patent reform: A broader patent reform bill is currently bogged down in the Senate [S.1145], and the looming party conventions in the summer may also limit the amount of legislation that gets passed by the end of the session in the fall.
Patently-O has a post on 8 June 08 on Ford Global Technologies v. ITC (Fed. Cir. 2008) which includes the text:
In 2007, the International Trade Commission (ITC) issued a final decision finding three Ford design patents invalid based on a prior public use. The patents relate to various parts of its F-150 truck design. Ford had asked the ITC to stop generic parts manufacturers from imports of the patented designs that were flowing in from Taiwan. In its decision, the ITC found seven of the design patents valid and infringed, but found that three of them were invalid.
Of the design patent angle, Patently-O writes: The defendants are correct that Lawman and Litton appear to require the point-of-novelty test in every case of infringement. That issue will likely be resolved in the upcoming en banc decision in Egyptian Goddess. In addition, the defendants argued that the design patents should be considered obvious under KSR v. Teleflex (2007). As in that case the claims appear to be composed of a set of elements all found in the prior art.
IPBiz notes that this situation brings insurance companies into play, as the use of generic crash parts would lower costs. [Note IPBiz post of January 2008.]
**UPDATE (22 March 2010):
Design Patents and Repair Parts
on H.R. 3059 which would excuse design patent infringement if the accused article of manufacture "itself constitutes a component part of another article of manufacture" and "sole purpose of the [accused] component part is for the repair of the article of manufacture of which it is a part so as to restore its original appearance.’’