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Imagine a computer chip composed of millions of transistors and hundreds or even thousands of individually patented inventions. Could just one of those patented components ever account for the entire economic value of the chip? Could just one such invention ever account for the entire value of a total personal computer system-monitor, keyboard, mouse, printer, software, and all-sold along with the chip? While these questions may seem far-fetched, they may soon be answered in the affirmative under a U.S. patent law doctrine known as the "entire market value rule."

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