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An Update on "Exhaustion"—Supreme Court Decides Quanta Case

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In the November/December 2007 issue of IEEE Micro, this column reported that the Supreme Court had decided to hear an appeal of the Federal Circuit's decision in a patent licensing case for the first time in many years. The Court has now decided the case and reversed the judgment of the Federal Circuit, but it did so in a decision based on narrow grounds and leaving many mportant questions unanswered - in fact, unaddressed. As explained in the earlier Micro Law column, the case nvolves the "exhaustion doctrine," under which the sale of a patented product by the patentee or its licensee "exhausts" patent rights in regard to the sold product. The question in the case was whether the sale of microprocessors and chipsets to Quanta by Intel - a licensee of the patent holder, LG Electronics (LGE) - exhausted LGE's patent rights in regard to those microprocessors and chipsets.

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Micro, IEEE  (Volume:28 ,  Issue: 6 )