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What do the principles of patent exhaustion have to do with the convenience of disposable consumer products such as individual coffee/tea/beverage pods, disposable diagnostic test strips, refillable ink cartridges and the like? Although transparent to consumers, these principles are important to the innovative companies creating these products and protecting them through IP rights. How a company controls the proprietary rights to make and/or market these components can have profound consequences on maintaining its competitive edge in the marketplace.