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." 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." 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.'" 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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