Tagged: Patent Exhaustion

The Seed Giant Stands Tall: The Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Monsanto

This Spring has been fruitful for seed giant, Monsanto. We reported earlier that Monsanto and rival DuPont entered into technology licensing agreements, ending nearly four years of patent and antitrust litigation. On Monday, May 13, Monsanto’s cornucopia arrived, with the Supreme Court ruling unanimously in its favor. This case revolved around the question of whether the doctrine of patent exhaustion allowed a farmer who bought patented seeds to, without permission, reproduce the seeds through planting and harvesting. The seeds in question were glyphosate herbicide-resistant soybean seeds, covered under two patents issued to Monsanto.

Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: U.S. Supreme Court Reverses Lower Courts and Determines That International Copyright Exhaustion is Now the Rule

Online resellers, used book stores, art galleries, and museums, among others, apparently can now breathe a sigh of relief and continue to display and resell goods originally sold or manufactured outside of the U.S., without the specter of a potential copyright infringement action looming on the horizon. Last week, in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court, on a 6-3 vote, held that the “first sale” doctrine applies to copies of a copyright-protected work lawfully made abroad. Under copyright law, the “first sale” doctrine states that “the owner of a particular copy or phonorecord lawfully made under this title . . . is entitled, without the authority of the copyright owner, to sell or otherwise dispose of the possession of that copy or phonorecord.” 17 U.S.C. § 109(a).