The European Union and United States Approach to Repair and Reconstruction of the Patented Invention
Volume III, Issue III, 2020
The grant of patents to the inventors of the products gives them a competitive edge in the market place. The inventor or owner of the patent has an exclusive right to prevent anyone else from making, using, or selling the invention for a limited period of time. However, certain rights of the patent holder are exhausted post-sale of the patented product, i.e. the patent proprietor cannot restrict the buyer of the product from repairing it in order to maintain it in the functional condition. This paper intends to compare and contrast approaches adopted by the United States and European Union Courts to draw a fine line between the reconstruction of the product which amounts to patent infringement and permissible repair. It traces the history of the doctrine of exhaustion and analysis various landmark judgements passed by the courts in both the jurisdictions to ensure the balance between protecting the rights and interests of the patent holder and the consumer of the product.