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Mallinckrodt v. Medipart

United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
976 F.2d 700 (1992)


Mallinckrodt, Inc. (Mallinckrodt) (plaintiff) patented a device for delivering radioactive material through aerosol mist into a patient’s lungs to diagnose and treat pulmonary diseases. Mallinckrodt manufactured and sold its patented device, the UltraVent, to hospitals. Each UltraVent apparatus was: (1) inscribed with the words “Single Use Only” and (2) sold with instructions to dispose of the UltraVent after use with just one patient. Rather than disposing of the UltraVent after one use, some hospitals sent used UltraVents to Medipart, Inc. (Medipart) (defendant) for refurbishing. Medipart reconditioned the UltraVents and returned them to hospitals to use again. Mallinckrodt sued Medipart for patent infringement and for inducing hospitals to infringe Mallinckrodt’s patent. Medipart moved for summary judgment. The district court granted Medipart’s motion for summary judgment, holding that, as a matter of law, a patent holder cannot put restrictions on a purchaser’s use of an invention. Mallinckrodt appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Newman, J.)

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