Lexmark Could Profoundly Impact Patent Exhaustion

By Scott Pierce, Hamilton Brook Smith Reynolds PC (December 5, 2016, 2:44 PM EST) -- The U.S. Supreme Court has just granted a writ of certiorari in the case of Impression Products Inc. v. Lexmark International Inc. The ultimate decision by the court could have a profound impact on the judicial doctrine of patent exhaustion, potentially extinguishing long-standing precedent. Due to the complexity of this case, it is worthwhile summarizing the relevant issues.

Doctrine of Patent Exhaustion

Under the doctrine of patent exhaustion, a patentee's right to restrict sale of a product are "exhausted" with a first authorized sale: resale is not an infringement. Exhaustion of exclusionary rights under United States patent law is based entirely...

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