Quanta Brief - Ackroyd

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Brief of Amici Curiae Interdigital Communications, LLC and Tessera, Inc. in Support of Respondent

  • This case does not present any issue of patent exhaustion when viewed in the proper light.
  • LG has conclusively demonstrated its claims against Quanta are based on patents that are different than those that cover the components purchased by Quanta from Intel.
  • Licensors and licensees should enjoy freedom to contract as best suited to their businesses, as was done by LG and Intel in this case.
    • Limitations on that existing freedom can only diminish the competitiveness of our high tech industry in the increasingly competitive world market.
  • In an attempt to fully protect their innovations, some computer companies sometimes obtain separate patents for the components and the systems or methods that incorporate those components into finished products, just as in the LGE-Intel-Quanta case.
  • In a typical multi-level chain that ultimately delivers products or services, there are a few component manufacturers and assemblers, several OEMs and thousands to millions of end users.
    • Companies do not ordinarily assert claims against the customers of their licensees based on licensed components or products purchased by those customers.
  • In the real world, component manufacturers often operate under different business conditions, employ different production models and have different customers than OEMs and retailers.
    • Because of the multi-tiered nature of markets, component manufacturers may not have dealings with or access to the OEMs and retailers who use the innovative technology of computer companies.
    • These component manufacturers often have no need for a license to the patents that encompass more than just the component they sell.
  • The benefits of licensing restrictions “apply to patent, copyright, and trade secret licenses, and to know-how agreements.”
  • Technology transfer agreements have not been considered by the Court in any of the prior patent exhaustion cases.
    • When no patent licenses are granted, there cannot be an issue of patent exhaustion. The rationale for patent exhaustion simply does not apply to technology transfer agreements that do not include patent licenses.
      • Because of that fact, and because this case does not involve any such agreement, the Court should not render a decision that inadvertently implicates technology transfer agreements.