Does patent exhaustion require a sale?
Abstract: It’s well-settled law that the authorized sale of a patented item will exhaust the patentee’s rights in that particular item. Until recently, however, it’s been unclear whether the patent exhaustion doctrine applies to items distributed for free. This article looks at one case in which a divided U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit tackled the matter head on. At issue was whether the rights in a device were exhausted when it was given away in hopes that doing so would spur sales of a complementary item. LifeScan Scotland, Ltd. v. Shasta Technologies, LLC, No. 2013-1271, Nov. 4, 2013 (Fed. Cir.)