Trade and Tradeoffs: The Case of International Patent Exhaustion

Daniel J. Hemel* & Lisa Larrimore Ouellette**

Introduction Sellers of patented products ranging from printer cartridges to pharmaceuticals frequently charge higher prices in the United States than they do abroad. To maintain this price differential, such sellers often prohibit the resale of their goods in the United States. The Federal Circuit has maintained that importers may be sued for infringing U.S. patents […]

In 2011, Congress passed the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, a broad-sweeping reform of the American patent system. Within this landmark piece of legislation, Congress created trial-like administrative proceedings as a cost-effective alternative to litigation. Inter partes review allows third parties to go before the Patent and Trademark Office and attempt to invalidate an already issued patent on the limited grounds that it fails to meet either...


Mark A. Lemley*& A. Douglas Melamed**

Patent trolls are increasingly blamed for the growing costs of patent litigation and seemingly excessive damages awards and patent royalties. There is much to support these allegations. Trolls now account for a majority of all patent assertions, win both larger judgments and larger settlements than do firms that practice patents, and do so despite complaints and some evidence that they assert weak patents. Nonetheless, we think the focus...