The Unclear Scope Of 'All Patent Rights' In Patent Exhaustion

By Brian Coggio (September 27, 2017, 11:39 AM EDT) -- Patent exhaustion "marks the point where patent rights yield to the common law principle against restraints on alienation."[1] Thus, once a patentee sells a product, that product '"is no longer within the limits of monopoly' and instead becomes the 'private, individual property' of the purchaser, with the rights and benefits that come along with ownership."[2] In Impression Products Inc. v. Lexmark International Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court held that "[t]he sale [of a product] 'terminates all patent rights to [the] item.'"[3] But does the term "all patent rights" include patents covering combinations of the product sold, formulations of the product, and/or methods of using it, i.e., does "all" truly mean "all"?...

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