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Quanta Computer, Inc. v. LG Electronics, Inc.

United States Supreme Court
553 U.S. 617 (2008)


LG Electronics, Inc. (LG) (plaintiff) owned computer technology patents that it licensed to Intel Corporation, Inc. (Intel). The license agreement authorized Intel to make, use, sell, or import products embodying the LG patents. Intel sold LG microprocessors and chipsets to Quanta Computer (Quanta) (defendant). Intel notified Quanta that the microprocessors and chipsets were licensed by LG and the license did not extend to products manufactured by Quanta using Intel and non-Intel parts. Quanta manufactured computers using the Intel microprocessors and chipsets, along with non-Intel memory and buses. LG sued Quanta for patent infringement. Quanta moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion, concluding that the license LG granted to Intel authorizing the sale of Intel products embodying the LG patents exhausted LG’s patent rights as against purchasers of the Intel products, even though the Intel products themselves did not fully practice any of the patents. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

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Holding and Reasoning (Thomas, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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