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Full-Text Articles in Law

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 ...


Patent Costs And Unlicensed Use Of Patented Inventions, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jan 2011

Patent Costs And Unlicensed Use Of Patented Inventions, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

Recent commentators have observed, and sometimes lamented, significant gaps between the formal reach of the patent system and the practical exclusionary effect of patent law. It is costly for technology developers to obtain and assert patents, for technology users to identify the patents they might be infringing and to clear rights, and for the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) to find patent-defeating prior art. The costs of the patent system provide shelter for infringing behavior that might otherwise lead to either licensing or liability, perhaps mitigating excesses in the patent system while retaining strong rights that motivated owners may enforce ...


The Supreme Court And The Federal Circuit: Visitation And Custody Of Patent Law, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jan 2007

The Supreme Court And The Federal Circuit: Visitation And Custody Of Patent Law, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

The U.S. Supreme Court’s relationship to patent law sometimes seems like that of a non-custodial parent who spends an occasional weekend with the kids. The custodial parent is, of course, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The Federal Courts Improvement Act of 1982 consolidated intermediate appellate jurisdiction over patent law cases in this single court, which hears appeals from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”), the U.S. District Courts, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and the U.S. In-ternational Trade Commission. Day to day it is the Federal Circuit ...


Re-Examining The Role Of Patents In Appropriating The Value Of Dna Sequences, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jan 2000

Re-Examining The Role Of Patents In Appropriating The Value Of Dna Sequences, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

As public and private sector initiatives race to complete the sequence of the human genome, patent issues have played a prominent role in speculations about the significance of this achievement. How much of the genome will be subject to the control of patent holders, and what will this mean for future research and the development of products for the improvement of human health? Is a patent system developed to establish rights in mechanical inventions of an earlier era up to the task of resolving competing claims to the genome on behalf of the many sequential innovators who elucidate its sequence ...


Analyze This: A Law And Economics Agenda For The Patent System, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jan 2000

Analyze This: A Law And Economics Agenda For The Patent System, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

Legal scholars and economists might enhance the value and impact of their work by making more effective use of each other's knowledge and capabilities. Legal scholars can offer a more nuanced understanding of the legal rules that underlie the patent system and the doctrinal levers that might be manipulated in furtherance of public policy goals. Economists bring to bear a set of analytical and methodological tools that could shed considerable light on what these doctrinal levers are doing and which of them we ought to be manipulating. Together, we have a better chance of asking the right questions and ...


Intellectual Property Issues In Genomics, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Aug 1996

Intellectual Property Issues In Genomics, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

Controversy over intellectual property rights in the results of large-scale cDNA sequencing raises intriguing questions about the roles of the public and private sectors in genomics research, and about who stands to benefit (and who stands to lose) from the private appropriation of genomic information. While the US Patent and Trademark Office has rejected patent applications on cDNA fragments of unknown function from the National Institutes of Health, private firms have pursued three distinct strategies for exploiting unpatented cDNA sequence information: exclusive licensing, non-exclusive licensing and dedication to the public domain.


Public Research And Private Development: Patents And Technology Transfer In Government-Sponsored Research, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jan 1996

Public Research And Private Development: Patents And Technology Transfer In Government-Sponsored Research, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

This article revisits the logical and empirical basis for current government patent policy in order to shed light on the competing interests at stake and to begin to assess how the system is operating in practice. Such an inquiry is justified in part by the significance of federally-sponsored research and development to the overall U.S. research effort. Although the share of national expenditures for research and development borne by the federal government has declined since 1980, federal funding in 1995 still accounted for approximately thirty-six percent of total national outlays for research and development' and nearly fifty-eight percent of ...


Patenting The Human Genome, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jan 1990

Patenting The Human Genome, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

The increasing promise of federal funding for mapping and sequencing the human genome has brought with it renewed attention in the research science community to issues of intellectual property protection for products of biotechnology research. Echoing concerns raised a decade ago in the debate over commercialization of academic biomedical research, scientists have called for the free availability of all information generated through the Human Genome Project and have argued against allowing private intellectual property rights in such knowledge. Meanwhile, private parties have quietly been obtaining patents on bits and pieces of the human genome from the Patent and Trademark Office ...


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 ...