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Antitrust and Trade Regulation

2018

Exhaustion

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Reasonable Patent Exhaustion, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2018

Reasonable Patent Exhaustion, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

All Faculty Scholarship

A lengthy tug of war between the Supreme Court and the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals may have ended when the Supreme Court held that the sale of a patented article exhausts the patentee seller’s rights to enforce restrictions on that article through patent infringement suits. Further, reversing the Federal Circuit, the parties cannot bargain around this rule through the seller’s specification of conditions stated at the time of sale, no matter how clear. No inquiry need be made into the patentee’s market power, anticompetitive effects, or other types of harms, whether enforcement of the condition is socially costly or …