LG Electronics owned a patent for a microprocessor chip, which it licensed to Intel, but excluded from the licensing agreement any Intel customer that used the chip with non-Intel products. One third-party purchaser integrated the chip with Dell, HP and Gateway products. In this U.S. Supreme Court case, the Court was asked whether a patent holder can seek royalties from the downstream third-party purchaser. The Court concluded unanimously that it could not. Writing for the Court, Justice Clarence Thomas relied on the theory of "patent exhaustion," which provides that a patented item's initial authorized sale terminates all patent rights to that item, denying LGE royalties from companies down the line of commerce. Our panel of experts discuss the decision, and the implications of the decision for patent law and licensing agreements.
- Prof. Richard Epstein, University of Chicago Law School
- Prof. Scott Kieff, The George Washington University Law School
- Prof. Mark Lemley, Stanford University Law School
- Mr. Fred von Lohmann, Electronic Frontier Foundation
- Moderator: Prof. Adam Mossoff, George Mason University School of Law