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United States

Faculty Scholarship

Duke Law

Intellectual Property Law

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Improving (Software) Patent Quality Through The Administrative Process, Arti K. Rai Jan 2013

Improving (Software) Patent Quality Through The Administrative Process, Arti K. Rai

Faculty Scholarship

The available evidence indicates that patent quality, particularly in the area of software, needs improvement. This Article argues that even an agency as institutionally constrained as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) could implement a portfolio of pragmatic, cost-effective quality improvement strategies. The argument in favor of these strategies draws upon not only legal theory and doctrine but also new data from a PTO software examination unit with relatively strict practices. Strategies that resolve around Section 112 of the patent statute could usefully be deployed at the initial examination stage. Other strategies could be deployed within the new ...


Use Patents, Carve-Outs, And Incentives — A New Battle In The Drug-Patent Wars, Arti K. Rai Jan 2012

Use Patents, Carve-Outs, And Incentives — A New Battle In The Drug-Patent Wars, Arti K. Rai

Faculty Scholarship

The Hatch-Waxman Act of 1984 aims to strike a balance between the innovation incentives provided by patents and the greater consumer access provided by low-cost generic drugs. The legislation, which relies in part on an explicit link between the FDA drug approval process and the U.S. patent system, has been controversial, particularly because of the ways in which firms producing brand-name drugs have exploited that link to delay market entry of generics as long as possible. Voluminous scholarship has focused on so-called "pay-for-delay" settlements of patent litigation between brand name and generic firms.

In contrast, this Perspective uses the ...


Accountability In Patenting Of Federally Funded Research, Arti K. Rai, Bhaven N. Sampat Jan 2012

Accountability In Patenting Of Federally Funded Research, Arti K. Rai, Bhaven N. Sampat

Faculty Scholarship

Bayh-Dole allows academic grantees to patent federally-funded research for purposes of promoting the commercialization of this research. To ensure commercialization goals are achieved, the Act requires grantees to report to funding agencies not only the existence of federally-funded patents but also utilization efforts they and their licensees/assignees are making.

Although reporting is a cornerstone of accountability under Bayh-Dole, information about grantee compliance with reporting requirements is incomplete and dated. In fact, the last significant study of the question dates back to the late 1990s and analyzes only 633 patents. Since that time, concerns have emerged that federally-funded university patents ...


Who’S Afraid Of The Federal Circuit?, Arti K. Rai Jan 2011

Who’S Afraid Of The Federal Circuit?, Arti K. Rai

Faculty Scholarship

In this brief Essay, Professor Rai responds to Professor Jonathan Masur's Yale Law Journal article "Patent Inflation." Professor Masur's argument rests on the assumption that U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ("PTO") behavior is determined almost entirely by a desire to avoid reversal by the Federal Circuit. Although the PTO is certainly a weak agency over which the Federal Circuit has considerable power, Masur overestimates the extent to which high-level PTO administrators are concerned about Federal Circuit reversals and underestimates institutional influences that are likely to operate in a deflationary direction. The PTO is influenced not only by ...


University Software Ownership And Litigation: A First Examination, Arti K. Rai, John R. Allison, Bhaven N. Sampat, Colin Crossman Jan 2009

University Software Ownership And Litigation: A First Examination, Arti K. Rai, John R. Allison, Bhaven N. Sampat, Colin Crossman

Faculty Scholarship

Software patents and university-owned patents represent two of the most controversial intellectual property developments of the last twenty-five years. Despite this reality, and concerns that universities act as "patent trolls" when they assert software patents in litigation against successful commercializers, no scholar has systematically examined the ownership and litigation of university software patents. In this Article, we present the first such examination. Our empirical research reveals that software patents represent a significant and growing proportion of university patent holdings. Additionally, the most important determinant of the number of software patents a university owns is not its research and development ("R ...


Growing Pains In The Administrative State: The Patent Office’S Troubled Quest For Managerial Control, Arti K. Rai Jan 2009

Growing Pains In The Administrative State: The Patent Office’S Troubled Quest For Managerial Control, Arti K. Rai

Faculty Scholarship

In the last ten years, the workload of the Patent and Trademark Office ("PTO") has increased dramatically. Complaints about the PTO's ability to manage its workload have increased in tandem. Interestingly, although Congress has explicitly given the PTO rulemaking authority over the processing of patent applications, and withheld from it authority over "substantive" patent law, the PTO has arguably enjoyed more success in influencing substantive law than in executing direct efforts to manage its workload. This Article explores the multiple, mutually reinforcing reasons for this anomaly. It argues that although there are good reasons to be frustrated with the ...


Is Bayh-Dole Good For Developing Countries?: Lessons From The Us Experience, Arti K. Rai, Jerome H. Reichman, Robert Weissman, Amy Kapczynski, Robert Cook-Deegan, Bhaven N. Sampat, Anthony D. So Jan 2008

Is Bayh-Dole Good For Developing Countries?: Lessons From The Us Experience, Arti K. Rai, Jerome H. Reichman, Robert Weissman, Amy Kapczynski, Robert Cook-Deegan, Bhaven N. Sampat, Anthony D. So

Faculty Scholarship

Recently, countries from China and Brazil to Malaysia and South Africa have passed laws promoting the patenting of publicly funded research, and a similar proposal is under legislative consideration in India. These initiatives are modeled in part on the United States Bayh-Dole Act of 1980. Bayh-Dole (BD) encouraged American universities to acquire patents on inventions resulting from government-funded research and to issue exclusive licenses to private firms, on the assumption that exclusive licensing creates incentives to commercialize these inventions. A broader hope of BD, and the initiatives emulating it, was that patenting and licensing of public sector research would spur ...