Publication Details

The Gift of Patent Exhaustion

Westlaw Journal Intellectual Property - 11/27/13

Attorneys Robert P. Andris, Lael D. Andara and Michael D. Kanach authored the article “The Gift of Patent Exhaustion.” In the article, the authors examine the recent Federal Circuit decisions in Keurig v. Sturm Foods and LifeScan v. Shasta, which have reaffirmed the doctrine of patent exhaustion. In Keurig, the court ruled that the authorized sale of a reusable component part of a method patent, a coffee brewer, exhausts the patent when the coffee brewer substantially embodies the inventive aspects of the method claims. In LifeScan, the court ruled  – in a case of first impression – that the patent exhaustion doctrine applies even if a patent owner gives away the reusable component part, in this case a blood glucose monitoring meter. These decisions, the authors observe, could have a substantial impact on the way patents are drafted in an effort to clearly describe the inventive features as being contained within the renewable or replaceable components, rather than within the reusable component.  Andris, Andara and Kanach represented Shasta Technologies, LLC and Conductive Technologies, Inc. in LifeScan v. Shasta both in the district court and on appeal.