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Privatizing Copyright, Xiyin Tang Mar 2023

Privatizing Copyright, Xiyin Tang

Michigan Law Review

Much has been written, and much is understood, about how and why digital platforms regulate free expression on the internet. Much less has been written— and even much less is understood—about how and why digital platforms regulate creative expression on the internet—expression that makes use of others’ copyrighted content. While § 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act regulates user-generated content incorporating copyrighted works, just as § 230 of the Communications Decency Act regulates other user speech on the internet, it is, in fact, rarely used by the largest internet platforms—Facebook and YouTube. Instead, as this Article details, creative speech …


The Ascension Of Indigenous Cultural Property Law, Angela R. Riley Oct 2022

The Ascension Of Indigenous Cultural Property Law, Angela R. Riley

Michigan Law Review

Indigenous Peoples across the world are calling on nation-states to “decolonize” laws, structures, and institutions that negatively impact them. Though the claims are broad based, there is a growing global emphasis on issues pertaining to Indigenous Peoples’ cultural property and the harms of cultural appropriation, with calls for redress increasingly framed in the language of human rights. Over the last decade, Native people have actively fought to defend their cultural property. The Navajo Nation sued Urban Outfitters to stop the sale of “Navajo panties,” the Quileute Tribe sought to enjoin Nordstrom’s marketing of “Quileute Chokers,” and the descendants of Tasunke …


The Missing Algorithm: Safeguarding Brady Against The Rise Of Trade Secrecy In Policing, Deborah Won Oct 2021

The Missing Algorithm: Safeguarding Brady Against The Rise Of Trade Secrecy In Policing, Deborah Won

Michigan Law Review

Trade secrecy, a form of intellectual property protection, serves the important societal function of promoting innovation. But as police departments across the country increasingly rely on proprietary technologies like facial recognition and predictive policing tools, an uneasy tension between due process and trade secrecy has developed: to fulfill Brady’s constitutional promise of a fair trial, defendants must have access to the technologies accusing them, access that trade secrecy inhibits. Thus far, this tension is being resolved too far in favor of the trade secret holder—and at too great an expense to the defendant. The wrong balance has been struck.

This …


Privacy, Property, And Publicity, Mark A. Lemley Jan 2019

Privacy, Property, And Publicity, Mark A. Lemley

Michigan Law Review

Review of Jennifer E. Rothman's The Right of Publicity: Privacy Reimagined for a Public World.


Certiorari, Universality, And A Patent Puzzle, Tejas N. Narechania Jun 2018

Certiorari, Universality, And A Patent Puzzle, Tejas N. Narechania

Michigan Law Review

The most important determinant of a case’s chances for Supreme Court review is a circuit split: If two courts of appeals have decided the same issue differently, review is substantially more likely. But practically every appeal in a patent case makes its way to a single court—the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. How, then, does the Supreme Court decide whether to grant certiorari in a patent case?

The petitions for certiorari in the Court’s patent docket suggest an answer: The Supreme Court looks for splits anyway. These splits, however, are of a different sort. Rather than consider whether …


The Uneasy Case For Patent Law, Rachel E. Sachs Jan 2018

The Uneasy Case For Patent Law, Rachel E. Sachs

Michigan Law Review

A central tenet of patent law scholarship holds that if any scientific field truly needs patents to stimulate progress, it is pharmaceuticals. Patents are thought to be critical in encouraging pharmaceutical companies to develop and commercialize new therapies, due to the high costs of researching diseases, developing treatments, and bringing drugs through the complex, expensive approval process. Scholars and policymakers often point to patent law’s apparent success in the pharmaceutical industry to justify broader calls for more expansive patent rights.

This Article challenges this conventional wisdom about the centrality of patents to drug development by presenting a case study of …


The "Broadest Reasonable Interpretation" And Applying Issue Preclusion To Administrative Patent Claim Construction, Jonathan I. Tietz Jan 2018

The "Broadest Reasonable Interpretation" And Applying Issue Preclusion To Administrative Patent Claim Construction, Jonathan I. Tietz

Michigan Law Review

Inventions are tangible. Yet patents comprise words, and words are imprecise. Thus, disputes over patents involve a process known as “claim construction,” which formally clarifies the meaning of a patent claim’s words and, therefore, the scope of the underlying property right. Adversarial claim construction commonly occurs in various Article III and Article I settings, such as district courts or the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). When these proceedings ignore each other’s claim constructions, a patent’s scope can become inconsistent and unpredictable. The doctrine of issue preclusion could help with this problem. The Supreme Court recently reemphasized in B & …


Intellectual Property In Experience, Madhavi Sunder Jan 2018

Intellectual Property In Experience, Madhavi Sunder

Michigan Law Review

In today’s economy, consumers demand experiences. From Star Wars to Harry Potter, fans do not just want to watch or read about their favorite characters— they want to be them. They don the robes of Gryffindor, flick their wands, and drink the butterbeer. The owners of fantasy properties understand this, expanding their offerings from light sabers to the Galaxy’s Edge®, the new Disney Star Wars immersive theme park opening in 2019.Since Star Wars, Congress and the courts have abetted what is now a $262 billion-a-year industry in merchandising, fashioning “merchandising rights” appurtenant to copyrights and trademarks that give fantasy owners …


Understanding Nautilus's Reasonable-Certainty Standard: Requirements For Linguistic And Physical Definiteness Of Patent Claims, Gary M. Fox Nov 2017

Understanding Nautilus's Reasonable-Certainty Standard: Requirements For Linguistic And Physical Definiteness Of Patent Claims, Gary M. Fox

Michigan Law Review

Patent applicants must satisfy a variety of requirements to obtain a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The definiteness requirement forces applicants to describe their inventions in unambiguous terms so that other inventors will understand the scope of granted patent rights. Although the statutory provision for the definiteness requirement has been stable for many years, the Supreme Court’s decision in Nautilus v. Biosig Instruments altered the doctrine. The Court abrogated the Federal Circuit’s insoluble-ambiguity standard and replaced it with a new reasonable-certainty standard. Various district courts have applied the new standard in different ways, indicating the need …


The Immanent Rationality Of Copyright Law, Shyamkrishna Balganesh Apr 2017

The Immanent Rationality Of Copyright Law, Shyamkrishna Balganesh

Michigan Law Review

Review of What’s Wrong with Copying? by Abraham Drassinower.


Improving Patent Quality Through Post-Grant Claim Amendments: A Comparison Of European Opposition Proceedings And U.S. Post-Grant Proceedings, Jennifer Turchyn Jun 2016

Improving Patent Quality Through Post-Grant Claim Amendments: A Comparison Of European Opposition Proceedings And U.S. Post-Grant Proceedings, Jennifer Turchyn

Michigan Law Review

Congress enacted the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act to encourage innovation, strengthen U.S. patents, and achieve greater uniformity with foreign patent systems. The America Invents Act introduced two new post-grant patent validity proceedings: inter partes review and post-grant review. The new U.S. proceedings are similar to European opposition proceedings, but there are significant differences in the extent of the patent owner’s ability to amend claims, the patent’s claim construction, the patent owner’s evidentiary burden, and the procedural requirements. The U.S. proceedings result in a very limited opportunity for amendment and a high percentage of invalidated patents. In contrast, European opposition proceedings …


Beyond Eureka: What Creators Want (Freedom, Credit, And Audiences) And How Intellectual Property Can Better Give It To Them (By Supporting, Sharing, Licensing, And Attribution), Colleen Chien Jan 2016

Beyond Eureka: What Creators Want (Freedom, Credit, And Audiences) And How Intellectual Property Can Better Give It To Them (By Supporting, Sharing, Licensing, And Attribution), Colleen Chien

Michigan Law Review

In the theater of the courtroom or the rough and tumble arena of intellectual property policymaking, the day-to-day lives of creators are rarely presented. We often instead see one-dimensional vignettes, for example, “the new artist or band that has just released their [sic] first single and will not be paid for its success,” described on Taylor Swift’s Tumblr last summer when she initially withdrew from Apple’s music streaming service. While instructive, this description leaves out that Swift and other artists have long relied on “free play” mediums like radio and, more recently, YouTube to develop, not cannibalize, their audiences and …


The Supreme Assimilation Of Patent Law, Peter Lee Jan 2016

The Supreme Assimilation Of Patent Law, Peter Lee

Michigan Law Review

Although tensions between universality and exceptionalism apply throughout law, they are particularly pronounced in patent law, a field that deals with highly technical subject matter. This Article explores these tensions by investigating an underappreciated descriptive theory of Supreme Court patent jurisprudence. Significantly extending previous scholarship, it argues that the Court’s recent decisions reflect a project of eliminating “patent exceptionalism” and assimilating patent doctrine to general legal principles (or, more precisely, to what the Court frames as general legal principles). Among other motivations, this trend responds to rather exceptional patent doctrine emanating from the Federal Circuit in areas as varied as …


An Administrative Meter Maid: Using Inter Partes Review And Post-Grant Review To Curb Exclusivity Parking Via The "Failure To Market" Provision Of The Hatch-Waxman Act, Brian T. Apel Oct 2015

An Administrative Meter Maid: Using Inter Partes Review And Post-Grant Review To Curb Exclusivity Parking Via The "Failure To Market" Provision Of The Hatch-Waxman Act, Brian T. Apel

Michigan Law Review

Congress created the unique Hatch-Waxman framework in 1984 to increase the availability of low-cost generic drugs while preserving patent incentives for new drug development. The Hatch-Waxman Act rewards generic drug companies that successfully challenge a pharmaceutical patent: 180 days of market exclusivity before any other generic firm can enter the market. When a generic firm obtains this reward, sometimes drug developers agree to pay generic firms to delay entering the market. These pay-for-delay agreements give rise to exclusivity parking and run counter to congressional intent by delaying full generic drug competition. The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act created …


Forcing Patent Claims, Tun-Jen Chiang Feb 2015

Forcing Patent Claims, Tun-Jen Chiang

Michigan Law Review

An enormous literature has criticized patent claims for being ambiguous. In this Article, I explain that this literature misunderstands the real problem: the fundamental concern is not that patent claims are ambiguous but that they are drafted by patentees with self-serving incentives to write claims in an overbroad manner. No one has asked why the patent system gives self-interested patentees the leading role in delineating the scope of their own patents. This Article makes two contributions to the literature. First, it explicitly frames the problem with patent claims as one of patentee self-interest rather than the intrinsic ambiguity of claim …


Reinventing Copyright And Patent, Abraham Bell, Gideon Parchomovsky Nov 2014

Reinventing Copyright And Patent, Abraham Bell, Gideon Parchomovsky

Michigan Law Review

Intellectual property systems all over the world are modeled on a one-size-fitsall principle. However important or unimportant, inventions and original works receive the same scope of protection, for the same period of time, backed by the same variety of legal remedies. Essentially, all intellectual property is equal under the law. This equality comes at a heavy price, however. The equality principle gives all creators access to the same remedies, even when those remedies create perverse litigation incentives. Moreover, society overpays for innovation through more monopoly losses than are strictly necessary to incentivize production. In this Article, we propose a solution …


The Audience In Intellectual Property Infringement, Jeanne C. Fromer, Mark A. Lemley May 2014

The Audience In Intellectual Property Infringement, Jeanne C. Fromer, Mark A. Lemley

Michigan Law Review

Every intellectual property (“IP”) right has its own definition of infringement. In this Article, we suggest that this diversity of legal rules is largely traceable to differences in the audience in IP cases. Patent, trademark, copyright, and design patent each focus on a different person as the fulcrum for evaluating IP infringement. That patent law, for example, focuses on an expert audience while trademark looks to a consumer audience explains many of the differences in how patent and trademark cases are decided. Expert audiences are likely to evaluate infringement based on the technical similarity between the plaintiff’s and defendant’s works. …


The Case Against Combating Bittorrent Piracy Through Mass John Doe Copyright Infringement Lawsuits, Sean B. Karunaratne Nov 2012

The Case Against Combating Bittorrent Piracy Through Mass John Doe Copyright Infringement Lawsuits, Sean B. Karunaratne

Michigan Law Review

Today, the most popular peer-to-peer file-sharing medium is the BitTorrent protocol. While BitTorrent itself is not illegal, many of its users unlawfully distribute copyrighted works. Some copyright holders enforce their rights by suing numerous infringing BitTorrent users in a single mass lawsuit. Because the copyright holder initially knows the putative defendants only by their IP addresses, it identifies the defendants anonymously in the complaint as John Does. The copyright holder then seeks a federal court's permission to engage in early discovery for the purpose of learning the identities behind the IP addresses. Once the plaintiff knows the identities of the …


Antitrust Rulemaking As A Solution To Abuse On The Standard-Setting Process, Adam Speegle Mar 2012

Antitrust Rulemaking As A Solution To Abuse On The Standard-Setting Process, Adam Speegle

Michigan Law Review

While many recognize the critical role that technology plays in modern life, few appreciate the role that standards play in contributing to its success. Devices as prevalent as the modern laptop computer for example, may be governed by over 500 interoperability standards, regulating everything from the USB drive to the memory chip. To facilitate adoption of such standards, firms are increasingly turning to standard-setting organizations. These organizations consist of members of an industry who agree to abide by the organization's bylaws, which typically regard topics such as patent disclosure and reasonable licensing. Problems arise, however, when members violate these bylaws …


The Myth Of The Sole Inventor, Mark A. Lemley Mar 2012

The Myth Of The Sole Inventor, Mark A. Lemley

Michigan Law Review

The theory of patent law is based on the idea that a lone genius can solve problems that stump the experts, and that the lone genius will do so only if properly incented. But the canonical story of the lone genius inventor is largely a myth. Surveys of hundreds of significant new technologies show that almost all of them are invented simultaneously or nearly simultaneously by two or more teams working independently of each other. Invention appears in significant part to be a social, not an individual, phenomenon. The result is a real problem for classic theories of patent law. …


The Accession Insight And Patent Infringement Remedies, Peter Lee Nov 2011

The Accession Insight And Patent Infringement Remedies, Peter Lee

Michigan Law Review

What is the appropriate allocation of rights and obligations when one party, without authorization, substantially improves the property of another? According to the doctrine of accession, a good faith improver may take title to such improved property, subject to compensating the original owner for the value of the source materials. While shifting title to a converter seems like a remarkable remedy, this outcome merely underscores the equitable nature of accession, which aims for fair allocation of property rights and compensation between two parties who both have plausible claims to an improved asset. This Article draws upon accession-a physical property doctrine …


Using Public Disclosure As The Vesting Point For Moral Rights Under The Visual Artists Rights Act, Elizabeth M. Bock Oct 2011

Using Public Disclosure As The Vesting Point For Moral Rights Under The Visual Artists Rights Act, Elizabeth M. Bock

Michigan Law Review

In 2010, the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit confronted the novel question of when moral rights protections vest under the Visual Artists Rights Act. In Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation, Inc. v. Bichel, the First Circuit determined that the protections of the Visual Artists Rights Act begin when a work is "created" under the Copyright Act. This Note argues that this decision harms moral rights conceptually and is likely to result in unpredictable and inconsistent decisions. This Note proposes instead that these statutory protections should vest when an artist determines that his work is complete and presents …


Innovative Copyright, Greg Lastowka Apr 2011

Innovative Copyright, Greg Lastowka

Michigan Law Review

For over a decade, Michael Carrier has been exploring the intersection of antitrust and intellectual property ("IP") law, contributing many articles that offer new solutions and approaches to the vexing problems confronting the law of innovation. Carrier's academic writing is situated in a voluminous scholarly discourse about the appropriate rules and goals of the laws of copyright, patent, and antitrust. While Carrier easily could have written an "insider" tome for specialists in this area, his new book, Innovation for the 21st Century, is targeted at a broader audience. Carrier's book is directed at legislators, jurists, and opinion makers-as well as …


Owning Mark(Et)S, Mark A. Lemley, Mark P. Mckenna Nov 2010

Owning Mark(Et)S, Mark A. Lemley, Mark P. Mckenna

Michigan Law Review

Trademark owners regularly rely on claims that the defendant is "free riding" on their mark by making money using that mark, money the trademark owners say should belong to them. We analyze those free-riding claims and find them wanting. The empirical data shows that defendants in unrelated markets can benefit from using a well-known mark, but that neither mark owners nor consumers suffer any injury from that use. A legal claim that a defendant is unjustly benefiting by using a plaintiff's mark is hollow unless it is accompanied by a theory of why that benefit should rightly belong to the …


The Future Of Books Related To The Law?, Eugene Volokh Apr 2010

The Future Of Books Related To The Law?, Eugene Volokh

Michigan Law Review

People have been reading books for over 500 years, in more or less the same format. Book technology has changed in some measure during that time. Fonts have become more readable. Books have become more affordable. Still, the general form of the book has remained much the same. But the arrival of e-readers, such as the Kindle and the Sony eBook, offers the possibility of a major change. First, people may shift to reading existing books on those e-readers. Second, the shift may lead them to change the way they use books, for instance by letting people have many reference …


Fixing Patent Boundaries, Tun-Jen Chiang Feb 2010

Fixing Patent Boundaries, Tun-Jen Chiang

Michigan Law Review

The claims of a patent are its boundaries, defining the scope of exclusion. This boundary function of claims is undermined by the fact that claims can be changed throughout the life of the patent, thereby moving the patent boundary. A boundary that can be moved at-will is one that the public cannot rely upon. This Article explores the problems of malleable patent boundaries. If a claim can be amended to permit a patentee to capture something he did not foresee when filing the patent application, the amendment confers an unexpected windfall that did not contribute to incentives to invent before …


Unsettling Drug Patent Settlements: A Framework For Presumptive Illegality, Michael A. Carrier Oct 2009

Unsettling Drug Patent Settlements: A Framework For Presumptive Illegality, Michael A. Carrier

Michigan Law Review

A tidal wave of high drug prices has recently crashed across the U.S. economy. One of the primary culprits has been the increase in agreements by which brand-name drug manufacturers and generic firms have settled patent litigation. The framework for such agreements has been the Hatch-Waxman Act, which Congress enacted in 1984. One of the Act's goals was to provide incentives for generics to challenge brand-name patents. But brand firms have recently paid generics millions of dollars to drop their lawsuits and refrain from entering the market. These reverse-payment settlements threaten significant harm. Courts nonetheless have recently blessed them, explaining …


The Family Law Doctrine Of Equivalence, Amy L. Wax Jan 2009

The Family Law Doctrine Of Equivalence, Amy L. Wax

Michigan Law Review

Students of patent law learn the doctrine of equivalents. According to the doctrine, a patent protects an invention that does "the same work in substantially the same way, and accomplish[ es] substantially the same result," as the device described in the patent, even if it differs "'in name, form, or shape." In her new book, Nancy Polikoff has fashioned something like a parallel doctrine for families. Let's call it (with a slight play on words) the family law Doctrine of Equivalence. In today's world, according to Polikoff, a broad set of relationships now plays the same role as marriage and …


Practice Makes Perfect? An Empirical Study Of Claim Construction Reversal Rates In Patent Cases, David L. Schwartz Nov 2008

Practice Makes Perfect? An Empirical Study Of Claim Construction Reversal Rates In Patent Cases, David L. Schwartz

Michigan Law Review

This Article examines whether U.S. district court judges improve their skills at patent claim construction with experience, including the experience of having their own cases reviewed by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. In theory, higher courts teach doctrine to lower courts via judicial decisions, and lower courts learn from these decisions. This Article tests the teaching-and-learning premise on the issue of claim construction in the realities of patent litigation. While others have shown that the Federal Circuit reverses a large percentage of lower court claim constructions, no one has analyzed whether judges with more claim construction appeal …


Addressing Default Trends In Patent-Based Section 337 Proceedings In The United States International Trade Commission, John C. Evans Feb 2008

Addressing Default Trends In Patent-Based Section 337 Proceedings In The United States International Trade Commission, John C. Evans

Michigan Law Review

Section 337 of the Tarif Act of 1930 empowers the United States International Trade Commission to investigate imports to ensure imports do not infringe on U.S. trademarks. The Commission permits patent, copyright, and trademark owners to notify the Commission of possibly infringing imports and to obtain exclusion orders that prevent importation of products that infringe their intellectual property. The total number of investigations increased from 1996 to 2005, yet the proportion of respondent defaults rose as well. The increase in defaults suggests there is some systemic difficulty in ensuring full participation. This Note argues that the res judicata effects of …