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Government recommends Supreme Court hear patent exhaustion case
September 06, 2007

In a filing on August 24 (that got put on the back burner with the hubbub about the new continuation and claim limit rules), the government has recommended that the Supreme Court grant certiorari in Quanta Computer, Inc. v. LG Electronics, Inc. (No. 06-937). Detail about the Federal Circuit's decision may be found in this post. The question presented is:

Whether the Federal Circuit erred by holding, in conflict with decisions of this Court and other courts of appeals, that respondent's patent rights were not exhausted by its license agreement with Intel Corporation, and Intel's subsequent sale of the product under the license to petitioners.

If the Court hears the case, the outcome could have a dramatic impact on how patents are licensed, and the restrictions that patent holders are able to effectively place in patent license agreements. While the government supporting granting certiorari does not make a grant a foregone conclusion, it does increase the chances the Court will hear the case. The petition has been distributed to the Justices, and will be considered at the September 24 conference.

Relevant links:

A bit more is available from SCOTUSBlog and Patently-O.

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