This is a HUGE ruling that will have broad ramifications in the tech industry where licensed IP is regularly used in derivative products. This is a pro-consumer ruling because it removes a barrier to innovation that existed with patent holders attempting to extract licensing revenues well down the supply chain.
Mike over at TechDirt has a good perspective on this case.
Justice Clarence Thomas reined in the appeals court, saying that “for over 150 years the Supreme Court has applied the doctrine of patent exhaustion” and that it applies in this case. The doctrine says that the sale of an invention exhausts the patent-holder’s right to control how the purchaser uses it.