Skip to content

First Sale at the Supreme Court

Patently O reports that the Supreme Court has granted certiorari in Quanta v. LG Electronics, which raises questions about the exhaustion and implied license doctrines in patent law and, by implication, about the cousins of exhaustion in copyright and trademark law.  The topic goes back at least as far at the American Cotton Tie cases of the late 19th century:  Under what circumstances can a seller of a chattel limit reuse of the chattel by the purchaser, in the absence of the purchaser’s assent to the limit but in the presence of a restrictive notice imposed unilaterally by the seller? 

The Federal Circuit’s opinion in the case is reported at 453 F.3d 1364 (Fed. Cir. 2006) [pdf].

More on this interesting and important issue soon.