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Faculty Scholarship

Intellectual property

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Fair Use In Oracle: Proximate Cause At The Copyright/Patent Divide, Wendy J. Gordon Jan 2020

Fair Use In Oracle: Proximate Cause At The Copyright/Patent Divide, Wendy J. Gordon

Faculty Scholarship

In Oracle America, Inc. v. Google LLC, the Federal Circuit undermined copyright law’s deference to patent law and, in doing so, delivered a blow to both regimes. Copyright’s deference— including a historic refusal to enforce rights that might undermine the public’s liberty to copy unpatented inventions-- is a necessary part of preserving inventors’ willingness to accept the short duration, mandatory disclosure, and other stringent bargains demanded by patent law. Deference to patent law is also integral to copyright law’s interior architecture; copyright’s refusal to monopolize functional applications of creative work lowers the social costs that ...


Death Of Copyright, Paul Gugliuzza Dec 2019

Death Of Copyright, Paul Gugliuzza

Faculty Scholarship

The four primary bodies of intellectual property law—patent law, copyright law, trademark law, and the law of trade secrets—address the question of duration in different ways. Trade secrets have no fixed duration; the law protects against misappropriation as long as the relevant information remains secret. Trademark protection lasts as long as the mark retains its capacity to distinguish the goods or services it is attached to. In patent law—my primary area of scholarship—duration is fixed, finite, and generally straightforward to determine: you get twenty years from the date you file your patent application. Copyright duration, by ...


The Supreme Court Bar At The Bar Of Patents, Paul Gugliuzza Mar 2019

The Supreme Court Bar At The Bar Of Patents, Paul Gugliuzza

Faculty Scholarship

Over the past two decades, a few dozen lawyers have come to dominate practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. By many accounts, these elite lawyers—whose clients are often among the largest corporations in the world—have spurred the Court to hear more cases that businesses care about and to decide those cases in favor of their clients. The Supreme Court’s recent case law on antitrust, arbitration, punitive damages, class actions, and more provides copious examples.

Though it is often overlooked in discussions of the emergent Supreme Court bar, patent law is another area in which the Court ...


Price Discrimination & Intellectual Property, Michael Meurer, Ben Depoorter Oct 2018

Price Discrimination & Intellectual Property, Michael Meurer, Ben Depoorter

Faculty Scholarship

This chapter reviews the law and economics literature on intellectual property law and price discrimination. We introduce legal scholars to the wide range of techniques used by intellectual property owners to practice price discrimination; in many cases the link between commercial practice and price discrimination may not be apparent to non-economists. We introduce economists to the many facets of intellectual property law that influence the profitability and practice of price discrimination. The law in this area has complex effects on customer sorting and arbitrage. Intellectual property law offers fertile ground for analysis of policies that facilitate or discourage price discrimination ...


When The Chinese Intellectual Property System Hits 35, Peter K. Yu Jan 2018

When The Chinese Intellectual Property System Hits 35, Peter K. Yu

Faculty Scholarship

This article explores what it means for the Chinese intellectual property system to hit 35. It begins by briefly recapturing the system’s three phases of development. It discusses the system’s evolution from its birth all the way to the present. The article then explores three different meanings of a middle-aged Chinese intellectual property system – one for intellectual property reform, one for China, and one for the TRIPS Agreement and the global intellectual property community.


Bigger And Better Patent Examiner Statistics, Shine Tu Jan 2018

Bigger And Better Patent Examiner Statistics, Shine Tu

Faculty Scholarship

The American government charges the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) with reading and reviewing patent applications to determine what new or improved inventions, machines, and processes qualify for patent protection. Each application is reviewed by a specific patent examiner who theoretically applies the standards of patentability in an even, fair, unbiased and consistent manner. This task requires the examiner to not only be internally consistent with the applications she reviews but also consistent with the behavior of other examiners within the same technology center. I have conducted two studies based on data from hundreds of thousands of patents ...


From Creativity To Classification: A Logical Approach To Patent Searching, Marian G. Armour-Gemmen Jun 2017

From Creativity To Classification: A Logical Approach To Patent Searching, Marian G. Armour-Gemmen

Faculty Scholarship

Engineering students and professors need to understand and search intellectual property. In the past, librarians have instructed them on using the United States Patent Classification (USPC). In 2015, after a period of transition, the United States Patent and Trademark Office phased out the USPC and began exclusively classifying in the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC). This adoption presented librarians a challenge of instructing students and professors in the easiest and most effective patent search. By tying patent searching to an example and presenting classification in an understandable fashion using CPC in conjunction with USPC, this writer presents a logical directed search ...


The Field Of Invention, Saurabh Vishnubhakat Jan 2017

The Field Of Invention, Saurabh Vishnubhakat

Faculty Scholarship

Federal courts can ill afford to ignore, assume, or improvise a pervasively important administrative power that the Patent Office exercises regularly and effectively: technology classification. This agency-court asymmetry has persisted for decades but has now become unmanageably problematic for two related reasons. First, Supreme Court guidance, patent reform legislation, and academic commentary have all broadly rejected long-standing patent exceptionalism in administrative law, while making the Patent Office a major substitute for federal courts in resolving patent disputes. Still, patent doctrine has been slow to correct, particularly in judicial deference to agency action. Second, criticisms of the patent system are highly ...


Toward A Federal Jurisprudence Of Trade Secret Law, Sharon Sandeen, Christopher B. Seaman Jan 2017

Toward A Federal Jurisprudence Of Trade Secret Law, Sharon Sandeen, Christopher B. Seaman

Faculty Scholarship

The May 2016 enactment of the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA), which created a new federal civil cause of action for trade secret misappropriation, raises a host of issues that federal courts will have to consider under their original subject matter jurisdiction, rather than applying state law through the courts’ diversity jurisdiction. This means that for the first time, an extensive body of federal jurisprudence will be developed to govern the civil protection and enforcement of trade secrets in the United States. In addition, due to the DTSA’s changes to the existing federal criminal law governing trade ...


The Myth Of Uniformity In Ip Laws, Sharon Sandeen Jan 2017

The Myth Of Uniformity In Ip Laws, Sharon Sandeen

Faculty Scholarship

When Congress enacts federal laws, it is often because of the asserted benefits of a “uniform” law and the, often unspoken, assumption that federal laws are somehow more uniform than uniform state laws. In fact, the uniformity argument was a primary justification for the enactment of both the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 and the EU Trade Secret Directive.

The quest for uniformity, particularly with respect to laws that relate to intellectual property rights, is an old story in the United States. During the drafting of the U.S. Constitution, the existence of inconsistent state laws was a central ...


Software's Copyright Anticommons, Clark D. Asay Jan 2017

Software's Copyright Anticommons, Clark D. Asay

Faculty Scholarship

Scholars have long assessed “anticommons” problems in creative and innovative environments. An anticommons develops when an asset has numerous rights holders, each of which has a right to prevent use of the asset, but none of which has a right to use the asset without authorization from the other rights holders. Hence, when any one of those rights holders uses its rights in ways that inhibit use of the common asset, an anticommons may result.

In the software world, scholars have long argued that anticommons problems arise, if at all, because of patent rights. Copyright, on the other hand, has ...


Risk Regulation And Innovation: The Case Of Rights-Encumbered Biomedical Data Silos, Arti K. Rai Jan 2017

Risk Regulation And Innovation: The Case Of Rights-Encumbered Biomedical Data Silos, Arti K. Rai

Faculty Scholarship

Recent Supreme Court cases on patent-eligible subject matter are likely to exacerbate the longstanding problem of biomedical data fragmentation. For each data silo, multiple overlapping legal claims and claimants must be addressed to achieve the benefits of pooling.

Commentators who have discussed the data aggregation challenge have generally focused on possibilities created through public funding, through collective action by research participants, or through pressure by payers. This Article emphasizes the important role of risk regulators, most notably the precedent offered by risk regulation in the area of clinical trial data.

While U.S. risk regulators have taken some positive steps ...


The Whole Is More Public Domain Than The Parts?: Us Copyright Protection For Works Of Applied Art Under Star Athletica's Imagination Test, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2017

The Whole Is More Public Domain Than The Parts?: Us Copyright Protection For Works Of Applied Art Under Star Athletica's Imagination Test, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

In Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands, the Supreme Court granted certiorari to resolve confusion in the lower courts regarding the “separability” predicate to copyright protection of decorative features of useful articles. The case involved the “surface decorations” of stripes, chevrons, and color blocks applied to cheerleader uniforms. While the Supreme Court clarified the meaning and application of the “separability” standard for the kinds of decorative elements there at issue, the fate of other artistic “features” of useful articles, particularly their three dimensional forms, remains murky. Much of the Court’s analysis points toward a prophylactic rule excluding the entire shape ...


Intellectual Property As Seen By Barbie And Mickey: The Reciprocal Relationship Of Copyright And Trademark Law, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2017

Intellectual Property As Seen By Barbie And Mickey: The Reciprocal Relationship Of Copyright And Trademark Law, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

Some years ago, caselaw on trademark parodies and similar unauthorized “speech” uses of trademarks could have led one to conclude that the law had no sense of humor. Over time, however, courts in the US and elsewhere began to leaven likelihood of confusion analyses with healthy skepticism regarding consumers’ alleged inability to perceive a joke. These decisions did not always expressly cite the copyright fair use defense, but the considerations underlying the copyright doctrine seemed to inform trademark analysis as well. The spillover effect may indeed have been inevitable, as several of the cases in which the fair use defense ...


The 1593 Antonio Tempesta Map Of Rome, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2017

The 1593 Antonio Tempesta Map Of Rome, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

This Essay examines Florentine painter and engraver Antonio Tempesta’s 1593 petition for a Papal printing privilege on his great bird’s-eye view Map of Rome. The arguments Tempesta made in support of his request for the exclusive rights to print, sell and control variations on his map evoke justifications spanning the full range of modern intellectual property rhetoric, from fear of unscrupulous competitors, to author-centric rationales. Invocations of labor and investment and unfair competition-based justifications were familiar – indeed ubiquitous – in Tempesta’s time, and still echo today. Long before the 1710 British Statute of Anne (vesting exclusive rights in ...


Antitrust And Intellectual Property: A Brief Introduction, Keith Hylton Aug 2016

Antitrust And Intellectual Property: A Brief Introduction, Keith Hylton

Faculty Scholarship

Intellectual property law and antitrust have been described as conflicting bodies of law, and the reason is easy to see. Antitrust law aims to protect consumers from the consequences of monopolization. Intellectual property law seeks to enhance incentives to innovate by granting monopolies in ideas or expressions of ideas. The purpose of this chapter is to explore the purported conflict between antitrust and intellectual property. The chapter is largely descriptive, and focuses on current or developing litigation rather than historical controversies. Many of the modern examples of conflict can be attributed to problems of classification.


Funding Antibiotic Innovation With Vouchers: Recommendations On How To Strengthen A Flawed Incentive Policy, Kevin Outterson, Anthony Mcdonnell May 2016

Funding Antibiotic Innovation With Vouchers: Recommendations On How To Strengthen A Flawed Incentive Policy, Kevin Outterson, Anthony Mcdonnell

Faculty Scholarship

A serious need to spur antibiotic innovation has arisen because of the lack of antibiotics to combat certain conditions and the overuse of other antibiotics leading to greater antibiotic resistance. In response to this need, proposals have been made to Congress to fund antibiotic research through a voucher program for new antibiotics, which would delay generic entry for any drug, even potential blockbuster lifesaving generics. We find this proposal to be inefficient, in part because of the mismatch between the private value of the voucher and the public value of the antibiotic innovation. However, vouchers have the political advantage in ...


Antibiotic Reimbursement In A Model Delinked From Sales: A Benchmark-Based Worldwide Approach, Kevin Outterson, John Rex Apr 2016

Antibiotic Reimbursement In A Model Delinked From Sales: A Benchmark-Based Worldwide Approach, Kevin Outterson, John Rex

Faculty Scholarship

Despite the life-saving ability of antibiotics and their importance as a key enabler of all of modern health care, their effectiveness is now threatened by a rising tide of resistance. Unfortunately, the antibiotic pipeline does not match health needs because of challenges in discovery and development, as well as the poor economics of antibiotics. Discovery and development are being addressed by a range of public-private partnerships; however, correcting the poor economics of antibiotics will need an overhaul of the present business model on a worldwide scale. Discussions are now converging on delinking reward from antibiotic sales through prizes, milestone payments ...


Patent Uncertainty: Toward A Framework With Applications, Keith Hylton Jan 2016

Patent Uncertainty: Toward A Framework With Applications, Keith Hylton

Faculty Scholarship

There are three essential sources of uncertainty in the patent system: perceived uncertainty due to selective sampling (“statistical artefact uncertainty”), inherent uncertainty, and strategic uncertainty. It is only the strategic uncertainty source that should be of concern to reformers. With respect to this source, uncertainty in the patent system is largely a function of two variables: the degree of inherent abstraction associated with the patent, and the degree to which the patent provides notice of its scope. The maximal degree of uncertainty is observed in the category of abstract patents with poor notice, a category dominated today by software patents ...


An Intentional Tort Theory Of Patents, Saurabh Vishnubhakat Jan 2016

An Intentional Tort Theory Of Patents, Saurabh Vishnubhakat

Faculty Scholarship

This Article challenges the dogma of U.S. patent law that direct infringement is a strict liability tort. Impermissibly practicing a patented invention does create liability even if the infringer did not intend to infringe or know about the patent. The consensus is that this is a form of strict liability. The flaw in the consensus is that it proves too little, for the same is true of intentional torts: intent to commit the tort is unnecessary, and ignorance of the legal right is no excuse. What is relevant is intent to perform the action that the law deems tortious ...


Manufacturing Barriers To Biologics Competition And Innovation, W. Nicholson Price Ii, Arti K. Rai Jan 2016

Manufacturing Barriers To Biologics Competition And Innovation, W. Nicholson Price Ii, Arti K. Rai

Faculty Scholarship

As finding breakthrough small-molecule drugs gets harder, drug companies are increasingly turning to “large molecule” biologics. Although biologics represent many of the most promising new therapies for previously intractable diseases, they are extremely expensive. Moreover, the pathway for generic-type competition set up by Congress in 2010 is unlikely to yield significant cost savings.

In this Article, we provide a fresh diagnosis of, and prescription for, this major public policy problem. We argue that the key cause is pervasive trade secrecy in the complex area of biologics manufacturing. Under the current regime, this trade secrecy, combined with certain features of FDA ...


Sharing By Design: Data And Decentralized Commons, Jorge L. Contreras, Jerome H. Reichman Jan 2016

Sharing By Design: Data And Decentralized Commons, Jorge L. Contreras, Jerome H. Reichman

Faculty Scholarship

Ambitious international data-sharing initiatives have existed for years in fields such as genomics, earth science, and astronomy. But to realize the promise of large-scale sharing of scientific data, intellectual property (IP), data privacy, national security, and other legal and policy obstacles must be overcome. While these issues have attracted significant attention in the corporate world, they have been less appreciated in academic and governmental settings, where solving issues of legal interoperability among data pools in different jurisdictions has taken a back seat to addressing technical challenges. Yet failing to account for legal and policy issues at the outset of a ...


Open Letter On Ethical Norms In Intellectual Property Scholarship, Robin Feldman, Mark A. Lemley, Jonathan Masur, Arti K. Rai Jan 2016

Open Letter On Ethical Norms In Intellectual Property Scholarship, Robin Feldman, Mark A. Lemley, Jonathan Masur, Arti K. Rai

Faculty Scholarship

As scholars who write in intellectual property (“IP”), we write this letter with aspirations of reaching the highest ethical norms possible for our field. In particular, we have noted an influx of large contributions from corporate and private actors who have an economic stake in ongoing policy debates in the field. Some dollars come with strings attached, such as the ability to see or approve academic work prior to publication or limitations on the release of data. IP scholars who are also engaged in practice or advocacy must struggle to keep their academic and advocacy roles separate.

Our goal is ...


Comment To The Sec In Support Of The Enhanced Disclosure Of Patent And Technology License Information, Colleen V. Chien, Jorge Contreras, Carol Corrado, Stuart Graham, Deepak Hedge, Arti K. Rai, Saurabh Vishnubhakat Jan 2016

Comment To The Sec In Support Of The Enhanced Disclosure Of Patent And Technology License Information, Colleen V. Chien, Jorge Contreras, Carol Corrado, Stuart Graham, Deepak Hedge, Arti K. Rai, Saurabh Vishnubhakat

Faculty Scholarship

Intangible assets like IP constitute a large share of the value of firms, and the US economy generally. Accurate information on the intellectual property (IP) holdings and transactions of publicly-traded firms facilitates price discovery in the market and reduces transaction costs. While public understanding of the innovation economy has been expanded by a large stream of empirical research using patent data, and more recently trademark information this research is only as good as the accuracy and completeness of the data it builds upon. In contrast with information about patents and trademarks, good information about IP licensing is much less publicly ...


Confusing Patent Eligibility, David O. Taylor Jan 2016

Confusing Patent Eligibility, David O. Taylor

Faculty Scholarship

Patent law — and in particular the law governing patent eligibility — is in a state of crisis. This crisis is one of profound confusion. Confusion exists because the current approach to determining patent eligibility confuses the relevant policies underlying numerous discrete patent law doctrines, and because the current approach lacks administrability. Ironically, the result of all this confusion is seemingly clear: the result seems to be that, when challenged, patent applications and issued patents probably do not satisfy the requirement of eligibility. At least that is the perception. A resulting concern, therefore, is that the current environment substantially reduces incentives to ...


International Cooperation To Improve Access To And Sustain Effectiveness Of Antimicrobials, Kevin Outterson, Christine Ardal, Steven Hoffman, Abdul Ghafur, Mike Sharland, Nisha Ranganathan, Richard Smith, Anna Zorzet, Jennifer Cohn, Didier Pittet, Nils Daulaire, Chantal Morel, Zain Rizvi, Manica Balasegaram, Osman Dar, David Heymann, Alison Holmes, Luke Moore, Ramanan Laxminarayan, Marc Mendelson, John-Arne Røttingen Jan 2016

International Cooperation To Improve Access To And Sustain Effectiveness Of Antimicrobials, Kevin Outterson, Christine Ardal, Steven Hoffman, Abdul Ghafur, Mike Sharland, Nisha Ranganathan, Richard Smith, Anna Zorzet, Jennifer Cohn, Didier Pittet, Nils Daulaire, Chantal Morel, Zain Rizvi, Manica Balasegaram, Osman Dar, David Heymann, Alison Holmes, Luke Moore, Ramanan Laxminarayan, Marc Mendelson, John-Arne Røttingen

Faculty Scholarship

Securing access to effective antimicrobials is one of the greatest challenges today. Until now, efforts to address this issue have been isolated and uncoordinated, with little focus on sustainable and international solutions. Global collective action is necessary to improve access to life-saving antimicrobials, conserving them, and ensuring continued innovation. Access, conservation, and innovation are beneficial when achieved independently, but much more effective and sustainable if implemented in concert within and across countries. WHO alone will not be able to drive these actions. It will require a multisector response (including the health, agriculture, and veterinary sectors), global coordination, and financing mechanisms ...


Only A Pawn In The Game: Rethinking Induced Patent Infringement, W. Keith Robinson Jan 2016

Only A Pawn In The Game: Rethinking Induced Patent Infringement, W. Keith Robinson

Faculty Scholarship

A party that causes another to infringe a patent may be liable for induced infringement. Recently, the Supreme Court and the Federal Circuit have interpreted the inducement statute in a way that may be problematic. For example, in a suit for induced patent infringement a plaintiff must show that an accused party had specific intent to cause infringement. The defendant can rebut allegations of induced infringement by showing that he had a good faith belief that he did not infringe the patent. However, a defendant’s good faith belief that the patent is invalid is no longer a defense to ...


Overview Of Copyright Law, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2016

Overview Of Copyright Law, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

This article offers an overview of copyright in general in common law and civil law countries, with an emphasis on the U.S. and the European Union. It addresses the history and philosophies of copyright (authors’ right), subject matter of copyright (including the requirement of fixation and the exclusion of “ideas”), formalities, initial ownership and transfers of title, duration, exclusive moral and economic rights (including reproduction, adaptation, public performance and communication and making available to the public, distribution and exhaustion of the distribution right), exceptions and limitations (including fair use), and remedies. The article also covers the liability of intermediaries ...


Intellectual Property In News? Why Not?, Sam Ricketson, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2016

Intellectual Property In News? Why Not?, Sam Ricketson, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

This Chapter addresses arguments for and against property rights in news, from the outset of national law efforts to safeguard the efforts of newsgathers, through the various unsuccessful attempts during the early part of the last century to fashion some form of international protection within the Berne Convention on literary and artistic works and the Paris Convention on industrial property. The Chapter next turns to contemporary endeavors to protect newsgatherers against “news aggregation” by online platforms. It considers the extent to which the aggregated content might be copyrightable, and whether, even if the content is protected, various exceptions set out ...


"Courts Have Twisted Themselves Into Knots": Us Copyright Protection For Applied Art, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2016

"Courts Have Twisted Themselves Into Knots": Us Copyright Protection For Applied Art, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

In copyright law, the marriage of beauty and utility often proves fraught. Domestic and international law makers have struggled to determine whether, and to what extent, copyright should cover works that are both artistic and functional. The U.S. Copyright Act protects a work of applied art "only if, and only to the extent that, its design incorporates pictorial, graphic, or sculptural features that can be identified separately from, and are capable of existing independently of, the utilitarian aspects of the article." While the policy goal to separate the aesthetic from the functional is clear, courts' application of the statutory ...