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Although the doctrine of patent exhaustion is well-recognized, various wrinkles in applying the doctrine remain undecided. A recent decision by the Federal Circuit provided further guidance regarding the application of patent exhaustion to patent method claims, specifically answering two questions: 1. If a product is given away and the patent owner did not receive any compensation, did the distribution of that product exhaust the patent claim? 2. In a patent claim covering a method of using a combination of items, does the authorized distribution of one of those items exhaust the method claim?

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