The Trouble with Brulotte: The Patent Royalty Term and Patent Monopoly Extension
Posted: 6 Aug 2014
Date Written: 1990
The Brulotte rule incorrectly assumes that a patent license has significance after the patent terminates. When the patent term ends, the exclusive right to make, use or sell the licensed invention also ends. Because the invention is available to the world, the license in fact ceases to have value. Presumably, licensees know this when they enter into a licensing agreement. If the licensing agreement calls for royalty payments beyond the patent term, the parties base those payments on the licensees' assessment of the value of the license during the patent period. These payments, therefore, do not represent an extension in time of the patent monopoly.
Keywords: patent, Brulotte v. Thys Co., patent royalty term, patent monopoly extension
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