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American Patents · 2005-09-06

American courts do everything to strangle whatever kind of grasroot innovation by prohibiting the merest attempts to use industrial products in ways not wanted by producers:

The Ninth Circuit has created box-wrap patent licenses. Now the label on the box that says "single use only" is given force of law, and if you refill the cartridge you are liable for patent infringement. This from Lexmark, the company that already tried and failed to control the printer cartridge after-market using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)...Will patent owners exploit this decision as an opportunity to impose over-reaching restrictions on formerly permitted post-sale uses, repairs, modifications, and resale? Will consumers soon confront “single use only, not for resale” notices on more and more products? Will innovators stumble over labels announcing “modifications prohibited”?

Good luck with that.

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