Common Law Essay Definition Of Research Paper
As we stated in the introduction to our article, our thesis is that “[t]he legal doctrine in the area pursues not common law policies disfavoring encumbrances or restraints on alienation, but instead the more nuanced goal of limiting the scope or domain of IP statutes to avoid displacing the law in other fields, such as general contract, property, and antitrust law.” The exhaustion doctrine is not itself common law and does not itself pursue substantive common law policies.
But that does not mean that the common law played no role in the development of exhaustion. As we said, the “nuanced goal” of the exhaustion doctrine is to protect other areas of law, including “general contract, property, and antitrust law.” And surely, the general law of contracts and property encompasses a great deal of common law.
This essay shows that this breadth of disagreement arises from a more fundamental disagreement over the legal basis for the doctrine, with judges, lawyers and academics deeply divided over whether the doctrine is based on judicially fabricated common law or a specific statute.
The essay reiterates and further clarifies our position, first advanced in our prior article, that the doctrine is based on statutory interpretation and is designed to avoid broad constructions of intellectual property rights that would interfere with the vast and complex body of common law rules and statutory provisions governing commercial transactions.
The first issue in the case—the “conditional sale” issue—is whether exhaustion doctrine is a mandatory doctrine preventing patentees from using infringement actions to enforce restrictions placed on goods sold through so-called “conditional sales.” Lexmark sells some of its patented ink cartridges as “Return Program Cartridges,” which sell for a discount of about 20% off the price of “Regular Cartridges” but are subject to two restrictions: the depleted cartridges (1) cannot be refilled or reused and (2) cannot be transferred to anyone but Lexmark (the purchaser can dispose of the cartridges or return them for recycling).  See Duffy & Hynes, supra note 2, at 60 (explaining that security interests under the Uniform Commercial Code can secure obligations generally and noting that the common law of some states might also permit so-called “personal property servitudes” to enforce obligations on subsequent purchasers).
Regular Cartridges are subject to no restrictions concerning reuse or resale.
The second legal issue—the international exhaustion issue—is whether foreign sales exhaust U. Lexmark sued Impression on the theory, supported by the Federal Circuit’s precedent , that Impression’s resales into the U. market of cartridges originally sold outside the United States were unauthorized acts of patent infringement.
Impression argued that Lexmark’s foreign sales exhausted even the U. patent rights in the cartridges and thus subsequent importation, sales, and uses of the cartridges do not infringe Lexmark’s patent rights.  See Brief of Amici Curiae Intellectual Property Professors and American Antitrust Institute in Support of Petitioner at 3, 6, Impression Prods., Inc.
Because the restrictions imposed on those cartridges expressly prohibit resale, Lexmark sued Impression on the theory, supported by the Federal Circuit’s precedent , that Impression’s resales are unauthorized and thus infringe Lexmark’s exclusive patent rights to control sales of its patented invention.
Adhering to its prior decisions in correctly, and thus, not surprisingly, we think the Supreme Court is likely to reverse the en banc court on the conditional sale issue and affirm on the international exhaustion issue.
On one initial and crucial point, however, the Federal Circuit was completely correct.
Part II addresses a response to our article written by Professors Katz, Perzanowski, and Rub (“the KPR essay”); Part III replies to a separate response by Professor Hovenkamp. I. 23, 2017) [hereinafter Law, Economics and Business Amici]. Prior scholarship, however, has set forth reasons why Qualcomm’s contracts may serve positive economic functions by controlling each step in the productive “value chain.” See Sean M.
highlights an astounding degree of uncertainty about the legal foundation for patent exhaustion, the specific legal issues and facts of the case are quite straightforward. O’Connor, IP Transactions as Facilitators of the Globalized Innovation Economy, Working Within the Boundaries of Intellectual Property: Innovation Policy for the Knowledge Society 203, 212–28 (Rochelle C. eds., 2010) (describing Qualcomm’s contracts as desirable “value chain licensing”).