The exhaustion of rights
The theory of exhaustion, in relation to patents, was based on the idea that the basic objective of the patent (namely, to reward the creative effort of the inventor and thus stimulate scientific progress) could be achieved by granting the patentee the right to make the first sale of the goods in monopoly conditions. The patentee takes his profit on the first sale and cannot expect further profits to accrue to him, after that point, from goods which he has had the advantage of selling in monopoly conditions. There is no justification, inherent in the logic of patent law, for allowing the patentee to interfere with the ordinary commercial freedom of subsequent acquirers of such goods.
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