Quanta v. LG

In Quanta v. LG Electronics, the Supreme Court has been asked to reaffirm the patent exhaustion doctrine, which entitles consumers to use, repair, or resell patented products that they have purchased. Despite clear Supreme Court precedents supporting the exhaustion doctrine, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has broken with this established principle, treating the doctrine as simply a "default rule" that patent owners can evade by attaching conditions to their products.

The issue is of increasing importance to consumers, who often face "single use only" and "not for resale" labels on patented products, interfering with legitimate activities and secondary markets. Lexmark, for example, has used "single use only" labels to limit the market for refilled toner cartridges. Similarly, "not for resale" labels could interfere with second-hand and refurbished product sales on eBay and Craigslist.

EFF filed an amicus brief on behalf of Consumers Union, EFF, and Public Knowldege, urging the Supreme Court to prohibit patent owners from using patent infringement suits to enforce these kinds of post-sale use restrictions on the products they sell.

On June 9, 2008, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling reaffirming the patent exhaustion doctrine, ruling that LG's patents had been exhausted when patented chipsets were sold to Quanta. For additional analysis, read the Deep Link about the ruling.

Stay in Touch

NSA Spying

EFF is leading the fight against the NSA's illegal mass surveillance program. Learn more about what the program is, how it works, and what you can do.

Follow EFF

Free software makes wireless devices safer and faster. Don't let the FCC wipe it out. https://dearfcc.org

Oct 7 @ 1:50pm

Facebook told @motherboard its names policy keeps users safe—but our letter to Facebook explains how wrong that is. https://eff.org/r.q9ug

Oct 7 @ 1:34pm

Des organisations demandent aux autorités syriennes: Où se trouve Bassel Khartabil? https://eff.org/r.5gbc

Oct 7 @ 12:45pm
JavaScript license information