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Full-Text Articles in Law

Universities: The Fallen Angels Of Bayh-Dole?, Rebecca S. Eisenberg, Robert Cook-Deegan Oct 2018

Universities: The Fallen Angels Of Bayh-Dole?, Rebecca S. Eisenberg, Robert Cook-Deegan

Articles

The Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 established a new default rule that allowed nonprofit organizations and small businesses to own, as a routine matter, patents on inventions resulting from research sponsored by the federal government. Although universities helped get the Bayh-Dole Act through Congress, the primary goal, as reflected in the recitals at the beginning of the new statute, was not to benefit universities but to promote the commercial development and utilization of federally funded inventions. In the years since the passage of the Bayh-Dole Act, universities seem to have lost sight of this distinction. Their behavior as patent seekers, patent ...


Expired Patients, Trade Secrets, And Stymied Competition, W. Nicholson Price Ii Jan 2017

Expired Patients, Trade Secrets, And Stymied Competition, W. Nicholson Price Ii

Articles

Patents and trade secrecy have long been considered substitute incentives for innovation. When inventors create a new invention, they traditionally must choose between the two. And if inventors choose to patent their invention, society provides strong legal protection in exchange for disclosure, with the understanding that the protection has a limit: it expires twenty years from the date of filing. At that time, the invention is opened to the public and exposed to competition. This story is incomplete. Patent disclosure is weak and focuses on one technical piece of an invention—but that piece is often only a part of ...


Prometheus Rebound: Diagnostics, Nature, And Mathematical Algorithms, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jan 2013

Prometheus Rebound: Diagnostics, Nature, And Mathematical Algorithms, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

The Supreme Court’s decision last Term in Mayo v. Prometheus left considerable uncertainty as to the boundaries of patentable subject matter for molecular diagnostic inventions. First, the Court took an expansive approach to what counts as an unpatentable natural law by applying that term to the relationship set forth in the challenged patent between a patient’s levels of a drug metabolite and the indication of a need to adjust the patient’s drug dosage. And second, in evaluating whether the patent claims add enough to this unpatentable natural law to be patent eligible, the Court did not consult ...


Better Mistakes In Patent Law, Andres Sawicki Jan 2012

Better Mistakes In Patent Law, Andres Sawicki

Articles

This Article analyzes patent mistakes-that is, mistakes made by the patent system when it decides whether a particular invention has met the patentability requirements. These mistakes are inevitable. Given resource constraints, some might even be desirable. This Article evaluates the relative costs of patent mistakes, so that we can make better ones.

Three characteristics drive the costs of mistakes: their type (false positive or false negative), timing (early or late), and doctrinal basis (utility, novelty, nonobviousness, and so on). These characteristics make some mistakes more troubling than others.

This Article compares the costs of making mistakes of different types, at ...


Wisdom Of The Ages Or Dead-Hand Control? Patentable Subject Matter For Diagnostic Methods After In Re Bilski, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jan 2012

Wisdom Of The Ages Or Dead-Hand Control? Patentable Subject Matter For Diagnostic Methods After In Re Bilski, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

In 1980, the Supreme Court gave a reassuring signal to the then-nascent biotechnology industry about the availability of patent protection for the fruits of its research when it upheld the patentability of a genetically modified living organism in Diamond v. Chakrabarty. Twenty-five years later, the Court seemed poised to reexamine the limits of patentable subject matter for advances in the life sciences when it granted certiorari in Laboratory Corporation v. Metabolite. But the Federal Circuit had not addressed the patentable subject matter issue in Laboratory Corporation, and the Court ultimately dismissed the certiorari p etition as improvidently granted. Five years ...


Pharma's Nonobvious Problem, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jan 2008

Pharma's Nonobvious Problem, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

This Article considers the effect of the recent decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in KSR International Co. v. Teleflex, Inc. on the nonobviousness standard for patentability as applied to pharmaceutical patents. By calling for an expansive and flexible analysis and disapproving of the use of rigid formulas in evaluating an invention for obviousness, KSR may appear to make it easier for generic competitors to challenge the validity of drug patents. But an examination of the Federal Circuit's nonobviousness jurisprudence in the context of such challenges reveals that the Federal Circuit has been employing all along the sort ...


Obvious To Whom? Evaluating Inventions From The Perspective Of Phosita, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jan 2004

Obvious To Whom? Evaluating Inventions From The Perspective Of Phosita, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

In this Article, I consider the possibility of giving the USPTO input from currently active technological practitioners in evaluating the obviousness of claimed inventions. Such input could potentially serve three useful functions. First, it could improve the accuracy of USPTO decisionmaking by providing access to the perspective of actual practitioners as to the obviousness of inventions from the perspective of the hypothetical PHOSITA. Second, it could help the USPTO document the evidentiary basis for rejections that rest in part upon tacit knowledge within technological communities. Third, it could provide a quality control mechanism that would improve the credibility of USPTO ...


The Promise And Perils Of Strategic Publication To Create Prior Art: A Response To Professor Parchomovsky, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jan 2000

The Promise And Perils Of Strategic Publication To Create Prior Art: A Response To Professor Parchomovsky, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

In a provocative recent article in the Michigan Law Review, Professor Gideon Parchomovsky observes that a firm racing with a competitor to make a patentable invention might find it strategically advantageous to publish interim research results rather than risk losing a patent race. This strategy exploits legal rules limiting patent protection to technological advances that are new and "nonobvious" in light of the "prior art" or preexisting knowledge in the field. By publishing research results, a firm adds to the prior art and thereby limits what may be patented in the future. Parchomovsky posits that, before it is able to ...


Patents And The Progress Of Science: Exclusive Rights And Experimental Use, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jan 1989

Patents And The Progress Of Science: Exclusive Rights And Experimental Use, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

In this article I analyze the proper scope of an experimental use exemption from patent infringement liability by comparing the rationales behind promoting technological progress through granting exclusive patent rights in inventions with competing arguments for promoting scientific progress by allowing all investigators to enjoy free access to the discoveries of other scientists. I begin by reviewing key features of the patent laws and theoretical justifications for granting patent monopolies in order to clarify the implications of existing patent doctrine and theory for an experimental use exemption. I then look to the literature in the sociology, history, and philosophy of ...


Proprietary Rights And The Norms Of Science In Biotechnology Research, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Dec 1987

Proprietary Rights And The Norms Of Science In Biotechnology Research, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

As basic research in biotechnology yields increasing commercial applications, scientists and their research sponsors have become more eager to protect the commercial value of research discoveries through intellectual property law. Some scientists fear that these commercial incentives will weaken or even undermine the norms that have traditionally governed scientific research. In this Article, Professor Eisenberg examines the interaction of proprietary rights in inventions with these traditional scientific norms. Trade secrecy, she argues, is an undesirable strategy for protection of basic research discoveries because it impedes dissemination of new knowledge to the scientific community. She finds that patent law is in ...


Patent Law: Secret Use As Affecting Right To A Patent, John B. Waite Jan 1919

Patent Law: Secret Use As Affecting Right To A Patent, John B. Waite

Articles

An unusually obvious piece of judicial legislation, of practical importance to the manufacturing world, was promulgated in the case of Macbeth-Evans Glass Co. v. General Electric Co., 246 Fed. 695. The facts were that in 1903 Macbeth had invented a process for making glass. Since that time the plaintiff company, of which Macbeth was president, had been using that process. This use had, however, been "secret". In 1910 an employee of the plaintiff revealed the process to the Jefferson Glass Co., which at once began to use it, but on application of the Macbeth Co. the state court enjoined the ...


The Patentability Of A Mental Process, John B. Waite Jan 1917

The Patentability Of A Mental Process, John B. Waite

Articles

The fact of possession has been so correlated with the theory of property that it is difficult to dissociate ownership from the possibility of physical possession. One finds that the average lawyer, even though he may defind a right in rem as a right enforcible against any person, is extremely apt, unless after especial thought, to explain that it is enforcible against anyone because it pertains to a thing capable of physical possession and control, a thing that could be actually sequestered, from all other persons. Not at all infrequently the term property has been judicially stripped even of its ...