District Court Endorses "Patent Exhaustion" Defense

An increasing willingness by the courts to uphold exhaustion as a defense in patent infringement actions continues. Yesterday, a federal judge in New Jersey granted summary judgment in favor of a group of movants including Lerner David's client, Ericsson Inc., that sales of an accused product were "authorized" through licenses that had been granted by prior owners of the subject patents. As a consequence of such authorization, the patentee's rights were "exhausted." High Point SARL v. T-Mobile USA Inc., C.A. 12-1453 (D.N.J.).

With particular regard to Ericsson Inc., the court concluded that Ericsson's parent company had properly granted a retroactive license to Ericsson, which thus rendered Ericsson's sales "authorized."

Lerner David has substantial experience litigating patent infringement actions, and negotiating, drafting and litigating license agreements with these issues in mind, and would be pleased to assist in these areas.