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Do Patents Grant the Right to Confiscate?

posted by Richard Cahoon at 2012-10-30 16:55:00


If you own a patent on a strain of a bacterial species, and you learn that someone has a test tube of that strain, does the patent give you the right to confiscate that test tube?   While the patent gives the right to stop others from making, using, or selling, it does not give the right to stop others from simple possession.  However, if the bacteria are reproducing in the test tube, the patent holder could claim that the holder is “making” the bacteria and therefore may rightfully stop that activity.  Then, if the holder of the test tube places that tube in the freezer, stopping bacterial reproduction, the patent holder’s right may be extinguished.  The result:  patents do not grant the right to stop simple possession of an invention.

posted at: 2012-10-30 16:55:00, last updated: 2014-02-09 16:56:30

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