Thread Number: 71112  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Supreme Court Upholds Consumer Ownership Rights To The Stuff They Buy
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Post# 941286   6/1/2017 at 11:49 (382 days old) by stricklybojack (San Diego, CA)        

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The Supreme Court heard arguments in March and considered the principle of patent exhaustion. This idea stipulates that a patent owner’s rights over a product should vanish once the patent owner sells the product to a consumer. By attaching a post-sale restriction to its single-use cartridge, Lexmark aimed to create a zombie patent that’s never exhausted. You may have bought that cartridge, but Lexmark still controls it.
The justices agreed 7-1 that Lexmark can’t do that. The court held that Lexmark exhausted its patent rights when it sold its cartridges “regardless of any restrictions the patentee purports to impose.” To allow otherwise, the justices ruled, would adversely impact the economy.

Expect more computer/digital bs crammed in our products to help manufacturers get around this ruling...

With the Supreme Court issuing a definitive ruling on patent exhaustion, expect manufacturers to turn to contract law—like sneaky end user licensing agreements—to enforce their will. You already see it happening. John Deere, after losing a copyright law fight to folks like, simply updated its EULA to block software modification in its tractors. Litigation dodged, problem solved. “They can’t infringe upon your ownership rights if you’ve already signed them away,” Gay Gordon-Byrne, director of, told me.
Corporations will continue to do all they can to keep your ownership rights weak. It isn’t personal, it’s just business. But to a farmer relying on a EULA’ed tractor, it is quite personal. Let’s hope an angry farmer takes his case to court. Or that right to repair legislation blocks these restrictive contracts. Otherwise, corporations will continue dictating what you can and can’t do with the stuff you only think you own.

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Post# 941561 , Reply# 1   6/3/2017 at 08:21 (380 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

The world needs fewer corporate lawyers. Unfortunately, it is one of the highest paying degrees and greedy corporations use them like two dollar whores at the gates of a military base. Have you ever noticed that you never hear sermons about greed or coveting, which is mentioned three times in the 10th commandment? It's because the clergy are as deep into greed and covetousness as an iron skillet dropped into the ocean over the Mariana Trench.

Post# 941586 , Reply# 2   6/3/2017 at 14:29 (380 days old) by Travis ()        

It's a good ruling.


The world needs less lawyers in general.  From what I see, the desire to have more for less is a universal human trait.

Post# 941614 , Reply# 3   6/3/2017 at 18:11 (379 days old) by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

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Everyone hates lawyers. Until they need one.....

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