Avoiding Patent Immortality for Self-Replicating Technologies
Bright Ideas, Vol. 19, No. 2, Fall 2010
2 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2010
Date Written: July 14, 2010
The Supreme Court in Quanta Computer, Inc. v. LG Electronics, Inc. reaffirmed the principle that the authorized sale of a patented item exhausts patent protection as to that particular item. However, it is unclear how the patent exhaustion/first sale doctrine should apply in the context of self-replicating technology, such as genetically modified or transgenic seed. Especially given the extreme results possible in cases such as Monsanto Co. v. Bowman, this article proposes that contract law rather than patent law should govern the patent holder’s rights in an object embodying self-replicating technology after an authorized sale.
Keywords: Self-Replicating Technology, First Sale Doctrine, Patent Exhaustion, Patents, Quanta Computer, Monsanto, Scruggs, Mcfarling, Bowman, Authorized Sale, Genetically-Modified Seed, Transgenic Seed, Second Generation Seed, Self-Replicating, First Sale, Genetically-Modified, Transgenic, Saved Seed
JEL Classification: K12, K29, K39, O30, O31, O32, O33, O34, O38, O39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation