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Articles 1 - 11 of 11

Full-Text Articles in Law

Machine Learning And Law, Harry Surden Jan 2014

Machine Learning And Law, Harry Surden

Articles

This Article explores the application of machine learning techniques within the practice of law. Broadly speaking “machine learning” refers to computer algorithms that have the ability to “learn” or improve in performance over time on some task. In general, machine learning algorithms are designed to detect patterns in data and then apply these patterns going forward to new data in order to automate particular tasks. Outside of law, machine learning techniques have been successfully applied to automate tasks that were once thought to necessitate human intelligence — for example language translation, fraud-detection, driving automobiles, facial recognition, and data-mining. If performing well ...


Lost Classics Of Intellectual Property Law, Michael J. Madison Jan 2014

Lost Classics Of Intellectual Property Law, Michael J. Madison

Articles

Santayana wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” American legal scholarship often suffers from a related sin of omission: failing to acknowledge its intellectual debts. This short piece attempts to cure one possible source of the problem, in one discipline: inadequate information about what’s worth reading among older writing. I list “lost classics” of American scholarship in intellectual property law. These are not truly “lost,” and what counts as “classic” is often in the eye of the beholder (or reader). But these works may usefully be found again, and intellectual property law scholarship would ...


The Corporate Preference For Trade Secret, Andrew A. Schwartz Jan 2013

The Corporate Preference For Trade Secret, Andrew A. Schwartz

Articles

Many inventions can be legally protected either by patent or by trade secrecy, and a conventional wisdom exists on how to select between them. This Article adds to that literature by showing that corporations should have an inherent preference for trade secret over patent for reasons relating to their legal form. Among them is the idea that corporations are perpetual entities and therefore perfectly suited to reap the perpetual returns that only a trade secret can offer. The Article also addresses the potential for a conflict between the inherent corporate preference for trade secret and the preferences of corporate managers ...


Technological Cost As Law In Intellectual Property, Harry Surden Jan 2013

Technological Cost As Law In Intellectual Property, Harry Surden

Articles

Changes in the scope of IP legal rights are generally thought to be linked to changes in positive law. This Article argues that shifts in the scope of IP laws are often driven by changes in technological feasibility and not by changes in positive law. Diminishing technological constraint is an under-acknowledged factor driving changes in substantive IP law.

More specifically, there are certain activities that are core to IP law. Such activities include, for example, the copying of creative works in copyright (e.g. duplicating books or music), or the manufacturing of products in patent law. Traditionally, IP legal theory ...


Efficient Uncertainty In Patent Interpretation, Harry Surden Jan 2011

Efficient Uncertainty In Patent Interpretation, Harry Surden

Articles

Research suggests that widespread uncertainty over the scopes of issued patents creates significant costs for third-party firms and may decrease innovation. This Article addresses the scope uncertainty issue from a theoretical perspective by creating a model of patent claim scope uncertainty.

It is often difficult for third parties to determine the legal coverage of issued patents. Scope underdetermination exists when the words of a patent claim are capable of a broad range of plausible scopes ex ante in light of the procedures for interpreting patents. Underdetermination creates uncertainty about claim coverage because a lay interpreter cannot know which interpretation will ...


Knowledge Curation, Michael J. Madison Jan 2011

Knowledge Curation, Michael J. Madison

Articles

This Article addresses conservation, preservation, and stewardship of knowledge, and laws and institutions in the cultural environment that support those things. Legal and policy questions concerning creativity and innovation usually focus on producing new knowledge and offering access to it. Equivalent attention rarely is paid to questions of old knowledge. To what extent should the law, and particularly intellectual property law, focus on the durability of information and knowledge? To what extent does the law do so already, and to what effect? This article begins to explore those questions. Along the way, the article takes up distinctions among different types ...


Beyond Invention: Patent As Knowledge Law, Michael J. Madison Jan 2011

Beyond Invention: Patent As Knowledge Law, Michael J. Madison

Articles

The decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in Bilski v. Kappos, concerning the legal standard for determining patentable subject matter under the American Patent Act, is used as a starting point for a brief review of historical, philosophical, and cultural influences on subject matter questions in both patent and copyright law. The article suggests that patent and copyright law jurisprudence was constructed initially by the Court with explicit attention to the relationship between these forms of intellectual property law and the roles of knowledge in society. Over time, explicit attention to that relationship has largely disappeared from ...


Notes On A Geography Of Knowledge, Michael J. Madison Jan 2009

Notes On A Geography Of Knowledge, Michael J. Madison

Articles

Law and knowledge jointly occupy a metaphorical landscape. Understanding that landscape is essential to understanding the full complexity of knowledge law. This Article identifies some landmarks in that landscape, which it identifies as forms of legal practice: several recent cases involving intellectual property licenses, including the recent patent law decision in Quanta v. LG Electronics and the open source licensing decision in Jacobsen v. Katzer. The Article offers a preliminary framework for exploring the territories of knowledge practice in which those legal landmarks appear.


The Patent Office Meets The Poison Pill: Why Legal Methods Cannot Be Patented, Andrew A. Schwartz Jan 2007

The Patent Office Meets The Poison Pill: Why Legal Methods Cannot Be Patented, Andrew A. Schwartz

Articles

In 2003, for the first time in its 170-year history, the United States Patent Office began awarding patents for novel legal innovations, in addition to traditional inventions such as the telephone or airplane. Commentators have accepted the Patent Office's power to grant legal method patents, but at the same time have criticized this new type of patent on policy grounds. But no one has suggested that the Patent Office exceeded its authority by awarding patents for legal methods, until now.

In the Patent Act of 1952, which is still in effect today, Congress established certain requirements for patentability, including ...


Patents On Legal Methods? No Way!, Andrew A. Schwartz Jan 2007

Patents On Legal Methods? No Way!, Andrew A. Schwartz

Articles

An “invention,” as used in the United States patent laws, refers to anything made by man that employs or harnesses a law of nature or a naturally occurring substance for human benefit. A watermill, for instance, harnesses the power of gravity to run machinery. But legal methods, such as tax strategies, are not inventions in this sense, because they employ “laws of man” — not laws of nature to produce a useful result.


Law As Design: Objects, Concepts, And Digital Things, Michael J. Madison Jan 2005

Law As Design: Objects, Concepts, And Digital Things, Michael J. Madison

Articles

This Article initiates an account of things in the law, including both conceptual things and material things. Human relationships matter to the design of law. Yet things matter too. To an increasing extent, and particularly via the advent of digital technology, those relationships are not only considered ex post by the law but are designed into things, ex ante, by their producers. This development has a number of important dimensions. Some are familiar, such as the reification of conceptual things as material things, so that computer software is treated as a good. Others are new, such as the characterization of ...