[Podcast] When Fixing One Problem Creates Another: How Patent Infringement Arises Out of Product Repairs

BakerHostetler
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BakerHostetler

Various products are subject to systems (e.g., purchase agreements) under which product purchasers and third parties are prevented from repairing the products and the only way to repair the product is to proceed through an authorized vendor or the original manufacturer. Manufacturers often favor such systems, as the systems (1) allow the manufacturers to obtain additional revenue through their own repair services, (2) prevent consumers and third-parties from accessing trade secrets that are contained within the products; and (3) prevent consumers from injuring themselves during repairs of complex products. Consumers are sometimes concerned with such systems, as the systems can limit consumer options to repair the devices and could lead to increased waste, as consumers may elect to purchase new products instead of committing to a lengthy and expensive repair process to fix an existing product. This issue has been getting some traction around the country, as several states have passed (or are reviewing) legislation related to providing purchasers with a “right to repair” products that they may purchase. In addition to its coverage in the legal news, “right to repair” was recently mentioned on CBS News.

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