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Through the patent system, inventors are rewarded for their ingenuity with a limited monopoly to practice their inventions at the exclusion of all others for a finite period of time. The grant of a monopoly is not taken lightly in the United States, resulting in a careful construction by the courts of limiting doctrines, including the patent-exhaustion (first-sale) doctrine and the related repair-reconstruction doctrine, to prevent overreaching on the part of the patent owner. In Bowman v. Monsanto Co., the Supreme Court addressed the issue of how the patent-exhaustion doctrine and post-sale restrictions apply to patented seeds, which by their very nature self-replicate when planted and create new seeds that are genetically similar to the original patented seed. The Court determined that Monsanto’s rights are not exhausted after the first sale of its patented seeds, solidifying the exception to the first-sale doctrine created by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. . .
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution embodies one of the country’s founding principles—separation of church and state—by prohibiting Congress from enacting laws that either respect a religious establishment or prohibit the people’s free exercise of religion. Analysis of issues arising under violation of the Establishment Clause consists of numerous, competing tests presented by the Supreme Court. In Doe ex rel. Doe v. Elmbrook School District, the Seventh Circuit considered two such tests and held that an unacceptable amount of religious endorsement and coercion occurred when high school graduation ceremonies were held inside a church. . .