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Intellectual Property Litigation Patent Litigation United States Supreme Court

Supreme Court Draws Crucial Distinction In Landmark Patent Exhaustion Decision

The Supreme Court's decision in Impression Products v. Lexmark is the latest Supreme Court ruling to eviscerate years-long, patentee-friendly Federal Circuit precedent.

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The Supreme Court’s decision in Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International, Inc., 581 U.S. __ (May 30, 2017), is the latest Supreme Court ruling to eviscerate years-long, patentee-friendly Federal Circuit precedent. Issuing less than one week after its decision in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, 581 U.S. ____ (May 22, 2017) — in which the Supreme Court wiped out 27 years of Federal Circuit precedent by holding that a corporation “resides” for patent litigation venue purposes only in its state of incorporation — the Supreme Court’s Impression Products decision further reins in the ability of patent owners to enforce their patent rights by holding that patent exhaustion precludes a patentee from using patent law to enforce post-sale restrictions on products sold by a patentee. (Note: For more on TC Heartland, see, “Supreme Court Turns Back Clock on Venue in Patent Infringement Litigation.”)

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