Contracts A Tricky Fallback As Justices Limit Patent Power

By Ryan Davis (June 1, 2017, 7:59 PM EDT) -- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this week that while patent law cannot be used to control how products are used once they are sold, that can be done through contract law. Some companies may take advantage of that option, but it is a much more difficult path than patent litigation, attorneys say.

The high court ruled on Tuesday that the first sale of a patented item exhausts the patent owner's rights, overturning Federal Circuit precedent that allowed patentees to retain their rights by imposing restrictions on how the product can be used after a sale. If purchasers do not comply with...

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