The Winter 2008 edition of the John Marshall Review of Intellectual Property Law has been published and is available online by clicking here. It includes several interesting articles, including:
- An argument for making stage directions copyrightable, Jennifer J. Maxwell, Making a Federal Case for Copyrighting Stage Directions: Einhorn v. Mergatroyd Productions, 7 J. Marshall Rev. Intell. Prop. L. 393 (2008); and
- John W. Osborne, Justice Breyer’s Bicycle and the Ignored Elephant of Patent Exhaustion: An Avoidable Collision in Quanta v. LGE, 7 J. Marshall Rev. Intell. Prop. L. 245 (2008), arguing that the Supreme Court should chart its own course regarding patent exhaustion, instead of adopting the parties’ positions in Quanta v. LG (click here for more on the case in the Blog’s archives):
The Federal Circuit held in LGE v. Bizcom that patent exhaustion could be disclaimed by contract.
The confusion regarding patent exhaustion evident in the Federal Circuit’s LGE v. Bizcom decision can be entirely eliminated by strict adherence to the Supreme Court’s Univis Lens decision. Univis Lens makes clear that the sale of an article embodying the essential features of a patent claim results in the exhaustion of that claim.
But patent exhaustion is reflective of the scope of patent rights granted by statute. A statutory grant of rights should not be expandable by private contract. The Supreme Court should thus reverse in Quanta v. LGE. 261 This conclusion applies equally to any type of patent claim, i.e., component, apparatus, composition, system, combination, method, or process claims. Identifying the essential features of a patent claim, i.e., the patentably distinct features, clarifies the exhaustion analysis, results in predictability, and eliminates the confusion between the doctrines of exhaustion and implied license.