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Staple article of commerce

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U.S. copyright law Edit

The staple article of commerce doctrine "absolves the equivocal conduct of selling an item with substantial lawful as well as unlawful uses, and limits liability to instances of more acute fault than the mere understanding that some of one's products will be misused. It leaves breathing room for innovation and a vigorous commerce."[1]

U.S. patent law Edit

"This analysis reflected patent law's traditional staple article of commerce doctrine, now codified, that distribution of a component of a patented device will not violate the patent if it is suitable for use in other ways.[2] The doctrine was devised to identify instances in which it may be presumed from distribution of an article in commerce that the distributor intended the article to be used to infringe another's patent, and so may justly be held liable for that infringement. "One who makes and sells articles which are only adapted to be used in a patented combination will be presumed to intend the natural consequences of his acts; he will be presumed to intend that they shall be used in the combination of the patent."[3]

"In sum, where an article is 'good for nothing else' but infringement,[4] there is no legitimate public interest in its unlicensed availability, and there is no injustice in presuming or imputing an intent to infringe."[5]

References Edit

  1. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd., 545 U.S. 913 (2005) (full-text).
  2. 35 U.S.C. §271(c); Aro Mfg. Co. v. Convertible Top Replacement Co., 377 U.S. 476, 485 (1964) (full-text) (noting codification of cases); id. at 486, n.6 (same).
  3. New York Scaffolding Co. v. Whitney, 224 F. 452, 459 (8th Cir. 1915); see also James Heekin Co. v. Baker, 138 F. 63, 66 (8th Cir. 1905); Canda v. Michigan Malleable Iron Co., 124 F. 486, 489 (6th Cir. 1903); Thomson-Houston Electric Co. v. Ohio Brass Co., 80 F. 712, 720-21 (6th Cir. 1897); Red Jacket Mfg. Co. v. Davis, 82 F. 432, 439 (7th Cir. 1897); Holly v. Vergennes Machine Co., 4 F. 74, 82 (C.C.D. Vt. 1880); Renwick v. Pond, 20 F. Cas. 536, 541 (No. 11,702) (C.C.S.D.N.Y.1872).
  4. Canda v. Michigan Malleable Iron Co., supra at 489.
  5. See Henry v. A.B. Dick Co., 224 U.S. 1, 48 (1912) (full-text), overruled on other grounds, Motion Picture Patents Co. v. Universal Film Mfg. Co., 243 U.S. 502 (1917) (full-text).

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