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Faculty Publications

2022

Intellectual Property

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Pleasure Patents, Andrew Gilden, Sarah R. Wasserman Rajec Feb 2022

Pleasure Patents, Andrew Gilden, Sarah R. Wasserman Rajec

Faculty Publications

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted thousands of patents for inventions whose purpose is to facilitate the sexual pleasure of their users. These "pleasure patents" raise a range of novel questions about both patent theory and the relationship between law and sexuality more broadly. Given that "immoral" inventions were long excluded from the patent system, and that sexual devices were widely criminalized for much of the past 150 years, how have patentees successfully framed the contributions of their sexual inventions? If a patentable invention must be both new and useful, how have patentees described the utility of …


Whose Progress?, Laura A. Heymann Jan 2022

Whose Progress?, Laura A. Heymann

Faculty Publications

Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the U.S. Constitution provides that Congress shall have power “to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” These words have been the subject of countless books and scholarly articles. Professor Silbey’s engaging contribution [in Against Progress: Intellectual Property Law and Fundamental Values in the Internet Age] to the conversation focuses on one word—progress—and what it should mean as we think about intellectual property law’s motivations and justifications in the twenty-first century.

But even …