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The Supreme Court in Impression Products v. Lexmark reversed the CAFC decision regarding the scope of the patent exhaustion doctrine, holding that patent rights are exhausted completely for an authorized sale of a patented article to a purchaser, regardless of whether this occurs in the US or internationally. In other words, all patent rights on a patented article are exhausted upon its sale anywhere in the world. In reaching this conclusion, the Court noted that "nothing in the text or history of the Patent Act shows that Congress intended to confine that borderless common law principle to domestic sales", and rather, patent exhaustion "remains an unwritten limit on the scope of the patentee’s monopoly." For the full case and opinion -- https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/16pdf/15-1189_ebfj.pdf

Published in Patent

The Supreme Court has recently granted certiorari on the issue of patent exhaustion, in Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark Int., Inc., Docket No. 15-1189. Patent exhaustion is a doctrine which holds that the initial authorized sale of a patented item terminates all patent rights to that particular item thereafter. Two questions are presented in this case, regarding both domestic and international exhaustion.

Published in Patent