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  • Quanta Leap or Much Ado About Nothing? An Analysis on the Effect of Quanta vs.LG Electronics

    The first sale doctrine is an important limit on the exclusive rights granted to intellectual property owners. It attempts to balance various policy goals, including providing incentives to create and innovate, limiting "dead hand" control over products embodying inventions, and encouraging voluntary transfers. Codified in the copyright laws, the doctrine has long been judicially recognized in patent and trademark cases. Generally, the doctrine limits the ability of an intellectual property owner to control the use and sale of an article that embodies its intellectual property once the article has been lawfully transferred. The doctrine, however, is deceptively simple. While it may be succinctly summarized, courts have long wrestled with its application. Although the United States Supreme Court has expressly recognized the doctrine for well over a hundred years, fundamental issues concerning the doctrine’s scope and application have yet to be resolved.