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Archived updates for Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Rebuttable Presumption of Market Power from Patent Tying

In Independent Ink, Inc. v. Illinois Tool Works, Inc., et al. (Fed. Cir. Januay 25 2005), the court held that a patent presumptively defines the relevant market as the nationwide market for the patented product itself, and creates a presumption of power within this market. Once the plaintiff establishes a patent tying agreement, it is the defendant’s burden to rebut the presumption of market power and consequent illegality that arises from patent tying.

Independent manufacturered ink that was usable in ITW's patented (U.S. Patent No. 5,343,226) printheads. The alleged monopolization was over the ITW's tied ink product, not the tying printhead product used by printer manufacturers (the “OEMs�). According to the Federal Circuit, the Supreme Court's patent tying cases do not create any presumption that market power over the tying product confers the degree of market power over the tied product necessary to establish a monopolization or attempted monopolization claim.
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