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Major Headaches Possible for Tech Patent Holders

Oct 01, 2007, 19:00 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Andy Patrizio)

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"The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear a technology patent case that has the potential to throw the entire technology supply chain into upheaval--or prompt closer adherence to technology licensing terms.

"Those disparate outcomes are both possible from a case involving two parties that aren't even U.S. companies. In 2000, LG Electronics of Korea sued Quanta Computer and several other Taiwanese PC makers, claiming the firms were violating LG's U.S. patents by using them without authorization--courtesy of Intel.

"When the justices hear the case in coming months, they'll be confronted with the question of how far down the supply chain a patent extends from the point it is licensed, and how much control a company can exert on companies further down that chain..."

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