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US Supreme Court hears arguments in patent infringement, tax cases

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] heard oral arguments [transcript, PDF] Wednesday in Quanta Computer v. LG Electronics [LII case backgrounder; merit briefs], 06-937 [docket; cert. petition, PDF], a patent infringement case on whether a patent holder's rights may be exhausted through certain license agreements. LG Electronics holds a patent on certain computer components, but had an agreement with Intel Corp. [corporate websites] that let Intel manufacture those parts. Quanta Computer [corporate website] bought the patented parts from Intel and used them to make notebook computers. LG Electronics sued Quanta, arguing that Quanta infringed its patents not by buying the parts but by using them to make computers. The Court must determine whether the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit correctly held [opinion, PDF] in July 2006 that the sales of patented devices do not exhaust LG Electronics' patent claims. Reuters has more.

The Court also heard arguments [transcript, PDF] Wednesday in MeadWestvaco Corp. v. Illinois Department of Revenue [LII case backgrounder; merit briefs], 06-1413, [docket; cert. petition, PDF], a case in which the Court is considering whether a state court's standard for determining whether it may tax the gain from the sale of a business by a non-domiciliary violates the Commerce and Due Process Clauses of the US Constitution.

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