Scientific Research and the Experimental Use Privilege in Patent Law [October 28, 2004] [open pdf - 176KB]
"Congress has identified research and development (R&D) as important contributors to technological progress. The performance of R&D may have intellectual property ramifications, however. To the extent that researchers use patented inventions without authorization, they may face infringement liability. Although the courts recognize an exception to patent infringement known as the 'experimental use privilege,' this judicially created doctrine has been described as very narrow and rarely applied. In particular, the experimental use privilege applies only to uses done for amusement, to satisfy idle curiosity or for strictly philosophical inquiry. This doctrine does not excuse uses that are in keeping with the accused infringer's business objectives."
CRS Report for Congress, RL32651