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Intellectual Property Law

Incentives

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The Cost Of Novelty, Will Nicholson Price Ii Mar 2020

The Cost Of Novelty, Will Nicholson Price Ii

Articles

Patent law tries to spur the development of new and better innova­tive technology. But it focuses much more on “new” than “better”—and it turns out that “new” carries real social costs. I argue that patent law promotes innovation that diverges from existing technology, either a little (what I call “differentiating innovation”) or a lot (“exploring innova­tion”), at the expense of innovation that tells us more about existing technology (“deepening innovation”). Patent law’s focus on newness is unsurprising, and fits within a well-told narrative of innovative diversity accompanied by market selection of the best technologies. Unfortunately, innovative ...


Expired Patients, Trade Secrets, And Stymied Competition, W. Nicholson Price Ii Jan 2017

Expired Patients, Trade Secrets, And Stymied Competition, W. Nicholson Price Ii

Articles

Patents and trade secrecy have long been considered substitute incentives for innovation. When inventors create a new invention, they traditionally must choose between the two. And if inventors choose to patent their invention, society provides strong legal protection in exchange for disclosure, with the understanding that the protection has a limit: it expires twenty years from the date of filing. At that time, the invention is opened to the public and exposed to competition. This story is incomplete. Patent disclosure is weak and focuses on one technical piece of an invention—but that piece is often only a part of ...


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

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

Articles

As finding breakthrough small-molecule drugs becomes more difficult, 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. This Article provides a fresh diagnosis of and prescription for this major public policy problem. It argues 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 Food and ...


Intellectual Liability, Daniel A. Crane Jan 2009

Intellectual Liability, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

Intellectual property is increasingly a misnomer since the right to exclude is the defining characteristic of property and incentives to engage in inventive and creative activity are increasingly being granted in the form of liability rights (which allow the holder of the right to collect a royalty from users) rather than property rights (which allow the holder of the right to exclude others from using the invention or creation). Much of this recent reorientation in the direction of liability rules arises from a concern over holdout or monopoly power in intellectual property. The debate over whether liability rules or property ...


The Problem Of New Uses, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jan 2005

The Problem Of New Uses, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

Discovering new uses for drugs that are already on the market seems like it ought to be the low-lying fruit of biopharmaceutical research and development (R&D). Firms have already made significant investments in developing these drugs and bringing them to market, including testing them in clinical trials, shepherding them through the FDA regulatory approval process, building production facilities, and training sales staff to market them to physicians. By this point, the drugs have begun to enjoy goodwill among patients and physicians and casual observations in the course of clinical experience may point to potential new uses. One might expect ...


Obvious To Whom? Evaluating Inventions From The Perspective Of Phosita, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jan 2004

Obvious To Whom? Evaluating Inventions From The Perspective Of Phosita, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

In this Article, I consider the possibility of giving the USPTO input from currently active technological practitioners in evaluating the obviousness of claimed inventions. Such input could potentially serve three useful functions. First, it could improve the accuracy of USPTO decisionmaking by providing access to the perspective of actual practitioners as to the obviousness of inventions from the perspective of the hypothetical PHOSITA. Second, it could help the USPTO document the evidentiary basis for rejections that rest in part upon tacit knowledge within technological communities. Third, it could provide a quality control mechanism that would improve the credibility of USPTO ...


Upstream Patents = Downstream Bottlenecks, Rebecca S. Eisenberg, Michael A. Heller Jan 1998

Upstream Patents = Downstream Bottlenecks, Rebecca S. Eisenberg, Michael A. Heller

Articles

Thirty years ago in Science, Garrett Hardin introduced the metaphor "tragedy of the commons" to help explain overpopulation, air pollution, and species extinction. People often overuse resources they own in common because they have no incentive to conserve. Today, Hardin's metaphor is central to debates in economics, law, and science and powerful justification for privatizing commons property. While the metaphor highlights the cost of overuse when governments allow too many people to use a scarce resource, it misses the possibility of underuse when governments give too many people rights to exclude others. Privatization can solve one tragedy, but cause ...


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 ...