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The Supreme Court handed down one of its most significant decisions in patent law in recent years on May 30 in Impression Products v. Lexmark International. This case will have a monumental impact on the commercialization of patented innovation in both the U.S. and in global markets. The case arose from Lexmark’s imposing restrictions on the resale and reuse of its patented toner cartridges, and whether this was permissible or not as an exercise of Lexmark’s property rights in its patent. Lexmark sued Impression Products for patent infringement for violating its post-sale restrictions. In a unanimous opinion written by Chief Justice Roberts, the Court held that such post-sale restrictions are not within the scope of rights secured by a U.S. patent. This decision upends decades of licensing and sale practices in the U.S. innovation economy, and raises fundamental questions about the nature of the economic incentives that drive the patent system, as well as the nature of the property rights long secured in a patent under U.S. law. This Teleforum discussed Chief Justice Robert’s opinion in Impression Products, as well as its economic and legal implications for patent-owners and the innovation economy.
- Prof. Adam Mossoff, Co-Founder, Director of Academic Programs & Senior Scholar, Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property; Professor, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University
- Mr. Steven Tepp, President & CEO of Sentinel Worldwide; Professorial Lecturer in Law, George Washington University Law School
- Moderator: Prof. Kristen Osenga, Professor of Law, University of Richmond