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We are a new start-up team based in Europe and have few or none knowledge on usage of patents and patented technology. We designed a chemical process that includes buying and using a patented technology (US patent) for ONLY a part of the entire process. We have doubts concerning the legacy of using this technology. If we buy the technology from the producer that possess the patent, do we also have to buy a license for the patent? The producer has a company specifically selling the technology we need.

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Patents give the owner the right to exclude others from making, selling, importing and using the patented technology within the country that granted the patent. If the patents are U.S. patents they have no force outside the U.S. If you will only use the technology in Europe you may not need to worry about the U.S. patents at all. In general if you buy a patented apparatus from a legitimate source you would be getting an implied license from the patentee to use it. This can be modified by contract and gets into a somewhat murky area of patent law call exhaustion of rights.

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