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Intellectual Property Law

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Nonpatentability Of Business Methods: Legal And Economic Analysis, Peter Menell, Michael Meurer Oct 2022

Nonpatentability Of Business Methods: Legal And Economic Analysis, Peter Menell, Michael Meurer

Faculty Scholarship

In this brief filed in Bilski vs. Kappos, pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, we argue that the "useful Arts" limitation of the the Intellectual Property Clause of the U.S.Constitution restricts the scope of Congress's patent power to technological advances. Beyond this constitutional limitation, Congress has not extended patent protection to business methods. The subject matter provision of the 1952 Patent Act merely codified existing subject matter categories and limitations, including the exclusion of business methods. The First Inventor Defense Act of 1999 did not alter this limitation on patentable subject matter. It did not amend ...


The Truth About Design Patents, Sarah Burstein, Saurabh Vishnubhakat May 2022

The Truth About Design Patents, Sarah Burstein, Saurabh Vishnubhakat

Faculty Scholarship

Design patents are hot. Scholars and policymakers are increasingly focusing on this once-niche area of law. However, many of the empirical studies in this area—including old ones that still get cited—were methodologically questionable from the start, have become outdated, or both. In this Article, we make two sets of contributions to this important and underdeveloped literature. First, we review the empirical studies of design patents thus far, including those that pre- and post-date the creation of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and we update the findings of those studies. Second, we consider a ...


Transplanting Anti-Suit Injunctions, Peter K. Yu, Jorge L. Contreras, Yu Yang Apr 2022

Transplanting Anti-Suit Injunctions, Peter K. Yu, Jorge L. Contreras, Yu Yang

Faculty Scholarship

When adjudicating high-value cases involving the licensing of patents covering industry standards such as Wi-Fi and 5G (standards-essential patents or SEPs), courts around the world have increasingly issued injunctions preventing one party from pursuing parallel litigation in another jurisdiction (anti-suit injunctions or ASIs). In response, courts in other jurisdictions have begun to issue anti-anti-suit injunctions, or even anti-anti-anti suit injunctions, to prevent parties from hindering the proceedings in those courts. Most of these activities have been limited to the United States and Europe, but in 2020 China emerged as a powerful new source of ASIs in global SEP litigation. The ...


The Long And Winding Road To Effective Copyright Protection In China, Peter K. Yu Apr 2022

The Long And Winding Road To Effective Copyright Protection In China, Peter K. Yu

Faculty Scholarship

In November 2020, China adopted the Third Amendment to the Copyright Law, providing a major overhaul of its copyright regime. This Amendment entered into effect on June 1, 2021. The last time the regime was completely revamped was in October 2001, when the Copyright Law was amended two months before China joined the World Trade Organization. While U.S. policymakers and industry groups have had mixed reactions to the recent Amendment, the new law presents an opportunity to take stock of the progress China has made in the copyright reform process. This Article begins by mapping the long and winding ...


The U.S.-China Forced Technology Transfer Dispute, Peter K. Yu Apr 2022

The U.S.-China Forced Technology Transfer Dispute, Peter K. Yu

Faculty Scholarship

The past few years have seen not only a trade war between China and the United States involving tariffs on close to $750 billion worth of goods, but also multiple complaints filed by both countries before the WTO Dispute Settlement Body. A key driver behind these ongoing tensions and conflicts concerns the challenges confronting U.S. technology companies—both online and offline. Although the inadequate protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in China has been the subject of a perennial debate since the mid-1980s, the recent concerns have raised new issues that have been lumped together under the umbrella ...


Investigating Design, Jessica Silbey, Mark P. Mckenna Feb 2022

Investigating Design, Jessica Silbey, Mark P. Mckenna

Faculty Scholarship

Design is ascendant. Steve Jobs’s legendary obsession with design was widely regarded as Apple’s comparative advantage, and that lesson has not been lost on its competitors. Design thinking is a growth industry, in business and at universities, and design professionals continue to take on increasingly significant roles within firms. The increasing economic significance of design has been reflected in an explosion of design patent applications and increasing amount of design litigation.

Despite design’s growing economic and legal importance, relatively little is known by legal scholars and policymakers about designers or the design process. This paper addresses that ...


Patent Inconsistency, Saurabh Vishnubhakat Feb 2022

Patent Inconsistency, Saurabh Vishnubhakat

Faculty Scholarship

Despite the promise of efficiency through the use of expert agency adjudication in U.S. patent law, administrative substitution continues to fall short. In a variety of ways, the decade-old system of Patent Office adjudication is simply an additional place to litigate rather than the robust technocratic alternative it was meant to be. These problems have arisen from important defects in the statutory design, but also from the enormous expansion and ascendancy of the Patent Office itself. Moreover, while duplicative litigation over patent validity is recognized and criticized, its scale and scope has eluded detailed empirical analysis until now. This ...


Bilski And The Information Age A Decade Later, Michael Meurer Jan 2022

Bilski And The Information Age A Decade Later, Michael Meurer

Faculty Scholarship

In the years from State Street in 1999 to Alice in 2014, legal scholars vigorously debated whether patents should be used to incentivize the invention of business methods. That attention has waned just as economists have produced important new research on the topic, and just as artificial intelligence and cloud computing are changing the nature of business method innovation. This chapter rejoins the debate and concludes that the case for patent protection of business methods is weaker now than it was a decade ago.


Of Autonomy, Sacred Rights, And Personal Marks, Shyamkrishna Balganesh Jan 2022

Of Autonomy, Sacred Rights, And Personal Marks, Shyamkrishna Balganesh

Faculty Scholarship

This Response examines three different senses in which the idea of autonomy might operate within trademark law’s rules relating to personal marks (i.e., marks that identity an individual) and shows that each of them is critically incomplete or too weak to independently sustain the justificatory burden for the domain. It then examines the worrisome possibility that courts’ allusions to autonomy here are little more than a trope for other considerations. It finally looks at how a genuine commitment to autonomy might be integrated into the principally market-driven framework of trademark law.


The Use Doctrine In Trademark Law: Issues From Trade And Transborder Reputation, Srividhya Ragavan Dec 2021

The Use Doctrine In Trademark Law: Issues From Trade And Transborder Reputation, Srividhya Ragavan

Faculty Scholarship

Mindful of the current trend within the United States to revive the focus on the use of trademark to determine a mark’s ability to act as a source indicator, in this paper I highlight how focusing on use can create disparate results by examining the role of use when dealing with well-known marks. Hence, this paper implicates the prescriptions from the harmonized trade regime, especially trademark law. In doing so, the paper outlines larger public policy concerns that will ensue especially considering the role of the use doctrine in the context of international harmonization of protection of well-known trademarks ...


Games Without Frontiers: The Increasing Importance Of Intellectual Property Rights In The People’S Republic Of China, James M. Cooper Oct 2021

Games Without Frontiers: The Increasing Importance Of Intellectual Property Rights In The People’S Republic Of China, James M. Cooper

Faculty Scholarship

Intellectual property (“IP”) protection in the People's Republic of China has been murky and amorphous. The country is currently enjoying a historic era with significant infrastructure and investment projects occurring as the Chinese consumer society substantially expands. These simultaneous trends require that China commit to the securitization and protection of IP rights to sustain its rapid economic growth.


Trademarks And The Covid-19 Pandemic: An Empirical Analysis Of Trademark Applications Including The Terms "Covid," "Coronavirus," "Quarantine," "Social Distancing," "Six Feet Apart," And "Shelter In Place", Irene Calboli Oct 2021

Trademarks And The Covid-19 Pandemic: An Empirical Analysis Of Trademark Applications Including The Terms "Covid," "Coronavirus," "Quarantine," "Social Distancing," "Six Feet Apart," And "Shelter In Place", Irene Calboli

Faculty Scholarship

True to its nature as a (hopefully) once in a lifetime event, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a tsunami of trademark applications. These include the terms “COVID,” “Coronavirus,” and other medical and pandemic-management related terms. This unprecedented number of applications has been highlighted by several commentators in general terms in the past months. This Article examines these applications in detail. Notably, the Article presents the first and most complete survey of the applications filed between the onset of the pandemic and the end of 2020, which include the following terms: “COVID,” “Coronavirus,” “Quarantine,” “Social Distancing,” “Six Feet Apart,” and ...


Intellectual Property Exhaustion And Parallel Imports Of Pharmaceuticals: A Comparative And Critical Review, Irene Calboli Oct 2021

Intellectual Property Exhaustion And Parallel Imports Of Pharmaceuticals: A Comparative And Critical Review, Irene Calboli

Faculty Scholarship

This Chapter addresses the topic of intellectual property (IP) exhaustion in the context of the parallel trade of pharmaceuticals. These imports, which are controversial in general, are more complex with respect to pharmaceuticals, which require additional marketing and import authorizations. Nevertheless, individual countries remain free to accept these imports under the flexibility of Article 6 of the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects to Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement). This Chapter reviews several national approaches—in developed, developing, and least developed countries (LDCs)—from the perspective of the exhaustion of patent rights as well as other IP rights. Through this review ...


Trade Marking ‘Covid’ And ‘Coronavirus’ In The Usa: An Empirical Review, Irene Calboli Jun 2021

Trade Marking ‘Covid’ And ‘Coronavirus’ In The Usa: An Empirical Review, Irene Calboli

Faculty Scholarship

Famous and sensational events often lead to several entities filing trade mark applications that include terms related to these events. The most recent example of this phenomenon is the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to large numbers of (largely controversial) filings worldwide.


In this article, I review the applications including the terms ‘COVID’ and ‘Coronavirus’ filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in 2020 based on the data available and recorded by the end of January 2021. These data offer significant information related to the type of products for which the applications were filed, the type of ...


Introduction: Lenses, Methods, And Approaches In Intellectual Property Research, Irene Calboli, Maria Lillà Montagnani Jun 2021

Introduction: Lenses, Methods, And Approaches In Intellectual Property Research, Irene Calboli, Maria Lillà Montagnani

Faculty Scholarship

The relevance of Intellectual Property (IP) Law in our society has increased dramatically over the last several years. Globalization, digitization, and the rise of post-industrial information-based industries have all contributed to a new prominence of IP Law as one of the most important factors in driving innovation and economic development. At the same time, the significant expansion of IP rules has impacted many areas of public policy such as public health, the environment, biodiversity, agriculture, and information, in an unprecedented manner. No longer relegated to a cohort of few specialized experts, IP Law is now at the front and centre ...


Retelling Copyright: The Contributions Of The Restatement Of Copyright Law, Jessica Silbey, Jeanne Fromer Apr 2021

Retelling Copyright: The Contributions Of The Restatement Of Copyright Law, Jessica Silbey, Jeanne Fromer

Faculty Scholarship

This Article was written for a special issue on the American Law Institute’s (ALI) Restatement of Copyright Law.

Since the American Law Institute (ALI) launched in the early twentieth century, its mission has been “the clarification and simplification of the law and its better adaptation to social needs ... [and] to secure the better administration of justice.” A principal way it has pursued that mission has been through its Restatements of Law project. By their nature, Restatements of Law reflect tensions between what it means to “restate” and reform the law. As the ALI has grown and the legal profession ...


When Imitation Is Not Flattery: Addressing Cultural Exploitation In Guatemala Through A Sui Generis Model, Paul Figueroa Apr 2021

When Imitation Is Not Flattery: Addressing Cultural Exploitation In Guatemala Through A Sui Generis Model, Paul Figueroa

Faculty Scholarship

Indigenous Guatemalan weavers are fighting for intellectual property laws that better protect their designs and other cultural expressions. The exploitation and appropriation by local and international companies has negatively affected the weavers’ livelihoods and resulted in culturally inappropriate uses of spiritual and traditional symbols. Adhering to Western ideals of individual creativity and utility, intellectual property laws in most of the world (including Guatemala) are not suited to protect indigenous creations. To address this legal gap, some countries have adopted sui generis legal regimes that align with communal notions of creation, ownership and stewardship found in indigenous knowledge systems. Based on ...


Geographical Indications: New Perspectives And Recent Developments, Irene Calboli Mar 2021

Geographical Indications: New Perspectives And Recent Developments, Irene Calboli

Faculty Scholarship

Not even three decades ago, Geographical Indications (GIs) were a niche subject. Scholarship on the topic was rare, in particular, in the English-speaking world. Then, after the adoption of the TRIPS Agreement, the role of GIs started to become increasingly more prominent at the multilateral level, as well as part of free trade agreements' negotiations and national policies. This translated to a growing body of scholarship that included not only authors from Europe, the continent from which GIs originate, but also from other countries and the global South. In the past ten years, attention to GIs has continued to grow ...


The Trade Secrecy Standard For Patent Prior Art, Sharon Sandeen, Camilla A. Hrdy Jan 2021

The Trade Secrecy Standard For Patent Prior Art, Sharon Sandeen, Camilla A. Hrdy

Faculty Scholarship

A fundamental criterion of patentability is that an invention must be new as compared to the prior art—the corpus of preexisting knowledge and technology already available to the public. If an invention is in the prior art, or rendered obvious by it, it cannot be patented.

The U.S. Patent Act has traditionally envisioned a categorical approach for deciding what counts as prior art. Under this approach, courts are supposed to decide whether a particular disclosure about the invention (a reference) falls within one of the categories listed in Section 102 of the Patent Act, such as “described in ...


Mark Of The Devil: The University As Brand Bully, James Boyle, Jennifer Jenkins Jan 2021

Mark Of The Devil: The University As Brand Bully, James Boyle, Jennifer Jenkins

Faculty Scholarship

In recent years, universities have been accused in news stories of becoming “trademark bullies,” entities that use their trademarks to harass and intimidate beyond what the law can reasonably be interpreted to allow. Universities have also intensified efforts to gain expansive new marks. The Ohio State University’s attempt to trademark the word “the” is probably the most notorious. There has also been criticism of universities’ attempts to use their trademarks to police clearly legal speech about their activities. But beyond provocative anecdotes, how can one assess whether a particular university is truly bullying, since there are entirely legitimate reasons ...


Intellectual Property Through A Non-Western Lens: Patents In Islamic Law, Tabrez Y. Ebrahim Jan 2021

Intellectual Property Through A Non-Western Lens: Patents In Islamic Law, Tabrez Y. Ebrahim

Faculty Scholarship

The intersection of secular, Western intellectual property law and Islamic law is undertheorized in legal scholarship. Yet the nascent and developing non-Western law of one form of intellectual property—patents—in Islamic legal systems is profoundly important for transformational innovation and economic development initiatives of Muslim-majority countries that comprise nearly one-fifth of the world’s population.


Recent scholarship highlights the tensions of intellectual property in Islamic law because religious considerations in an Islamic society do not fully align with Western notions of patents. As Islamic legal systems have begun to embrace patents in recent decades, theories of patents have presented ...


We're All Pirates Now: Making Do In A Precarious Ip Ecosystem, Jessica Silbey Jan 2021

We're All Pirates Now: Making Do In A Precarious Ip Ecosystem, Jessica Silbey

Faculty Scholarship

Fifteen years after the Piracy Paradox explained how most anti-copying protection is unnecessary for a thriving fashion industry, we face another piracy paradox: with broader and stronger IP laws and a digital economy in which IP enforcement is more draconian than ever, what explains the ubiquity of everyday copying, sharing, re-making and re-mixing practices that are the life blood of the internet's expressive and innovative ecosystems? Drawing on empirical data from a decade of research, this short essay provides two examples of this "new piracy paradox": a legal regime that ostensibly punishes piracy in a culture in which it ...


Long Live The Common Law Of Copyright!: Georgia V. Public.Resource.Org., Inc. And The Debate Over Judicial Role In Copyright, Shyamkrishna Balganesh Jan 2021

Long Live The Common Law Of Copyright!: Georgia V. Public.Resource.Org., Inc. And The Debate Over Judicial Role In Copyright, Shyamkrishna Balganesh

Faculty Scholarship

In Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org, Inc., the Supreme Court resurrected a nineteenth-century copyright doctrine – the government edicts doctrine – and applied it to statutory annotations prepared by a legislative agency. While the substance of the decision has serious impli­cations for due process and the rule of law, the Court’s treatment of the doctrine recognized an invigorated role for courts in the development of copyright law through the use of principled reasoning. In expounding the doctrine, the Court announced a vision for the judicial role in copy­right adjudication that is at odds with the dominant approach under the ...


Conundra Of The Berne Convention Concept Of The Country Of Origin, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2021

Conundra Of The Berne Convention Concept Of The Country Of Origin, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

This essay explores one of the most important, but occasionally intractable, issues under the Berne Convention, the concept of Country of Origin. Article 5(4) of that treaty defines a work’s country of origin, but leaves out several situations, leaving those who interpret and apply the treaty without guidance in ascertaining the country of origin. I will call those situations the “Conundra of the country of origin,” and will explore two of them here. First, what is the country of origin of an unpublished work whose authors are nationals of different countries? Second, what is the country of origin ...


Trading Pharma Goods The Wto Legal Framework, Neeraj Rajan Sabitha, Petros C. Mavroidis Jan 2021

Trading Pharma Goods The Wto Legal Framework, Neeraj Rajan Sabitha, Petros C. Mavroidis

Faculty Scholarship

Trading of pharma goods has attracted widespread global attention in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Agreement on Trade in Pharmaceutical Products (“Pharma Agreement”) – a sectoral agreement between a handful of WTO members – was concluded in 1994 and aimed to eliminate duties on various pharmaceutical products. Nevertheless, this is all that the Pharma Agreement does: it eliminates duties and does not touch upon the regulatory aspects relating to marketing of pharmaceutical goods. WTO members remain sovereign to decide on this score, but must observe the WTO Licensing Agreement as well as nondiscrimination. Thus, while the intensity of regulatory intervention ...


The Use Of Technical Experts In Software Copyright Cases: Rectifying The Ninth Circuit’S “Nutty” Rule, Shyamkrishna Balganesh, Peter S. Menell Jan 2021

The Use Of Technical Experts In Software Copyright Cases: Rectifying The Ninth Circuit’S “Nutty” Rule, Shyamkrishna Balganesh, Peter S. Menell

Faculty Scholarship

Courts have long been skeptical about the use of expert witnesses in copyright cases. More than four decades ago, and before Congress extended copyright law to protect computer software, the Ninth Circuit in Krofft Television Productions, Inc. v. McDonald’s Corp. ruled that expert testimony was inadmissible to determine whether Mayor McCheese and the merry band of McDonald’s characters infringed copyright protection for Wilhelmina W. Witchiepoo and the other imaginative H.R. Pufnstuf costumed characters. Since the emergence of software copyright infringement cases in the 1980s, substantially all software copyright cases have permitted expert witnesses to aid juries in ...


The Big Data Regulator, Rebooted: Why And How The Fda Can And Should Disclose Confidential Data On Prescription Drugs And Vaccines, Christopher J. Morten, Amy Kapczynski Jan 2021

The Big Data Regulator, Rebooted: Why And How The Fda Can And Should Disclose Confidential Data On Prescription Drugs And Vaccines, Christopher J. Morten, Amy Kapczynski

Faculty Scholarship

Medicines and vaccines are complex products, and it is often extraordinarily difficult to know whether they help or hurt. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) holds an enormous reservoir of data that sheds light on that precise question, yet currently releases only a trickle to researchers, doctors, and patients. Recent examples show that data secrecy can be deadly, and existing laws such as the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) cannot solve the problem. We present here a wealth of new evidence about the urgency of the problem and argue that the FDA must “reboot” its rules to proactively disclose all ...


International Law Association's Guidelines On Intellectual Property And Private International Law ("Kyoto Guidelines"): Applicable Law, Marie-Elodie Ancel, Nicolas Binctin, Josef Drexl, Mireille Van Eechoud, Jane C. Ginsburg, Toshiyuki Kono, Gyooho Lee, Rita Matulionyte, Edouard Treppoz, Dário Moura Vicente Jan 2021

International Law Association's Guidelines On Intellectual Property And Private International Law ("Kyoto Guidelines"): Applicable Law, Marie-Elodie Ancel, Nicolas Binctin, Josef Drexl, Mireille Van Eechoud, Jane C. Ginsburg, Toshiyuki Kono, Gyooho Lee, Rita Matulionyte, Edouard Treppoz, Dário Moura Vicente

Faculty Scholarship

The chapter “Applicable Law” of the International Law Association’s Guidelines on In­tellectual Property and Private International Law (“Kyoto Guidelines”) provides principles on the choice of law in international intellectual property matters. The Guidelines confirm the traditional principle of the lex loci protectionis for the existence, transferabil­ity, scope and infringement of intellectual property rights. The law applicable to the initial ownership of registered rights is governed by the lex loci protec­tionis whereas the law of the closest connection is applied to determine the ownership of copyright. For contracts, freedom of choice is acknowledged. With regard to ubiquitous ...


Intellectual Property And Ethnography: A Qualitative Research Approach, Jessica Silbey Jan 2021

Intellectual Property And Ethnography: A Qualitative Research Approach, Jessica Silbey

Faculty Scholarship

This chapter describes the processes of and justifications for qualitative empirical research in intellectual property (IP) as compared to other research methods, such as quantitative empirical approaches and theoretical economic analyses of law. It provides examples of these research methods, explains the reasons for pursuing a qualitative approach, and details a qualitative research agenda in the context of intellectual property law, as well as a step-by-step method of data collection and data analysis.


Comment On Andy Warhol Found. For The Visual Arts, Inc. V. Goldsmith, 992 F.3d 99 (2d Cir. 2021), Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2021

Comment On Andy Warhol Found. For The Visual Arts, Inc. V. Goldsmith, 992 F.3d 99 (2d Cir. 2021), Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

The Second Circuit’s decision in Andy Warhol Foundation v. Goldsmith retreats both from its prior caselaw’s generous characterization of artistic reuse as “transformative,” and from the outcome-determinacy of a finding of “transformativeness.” The decision suggests both that courts may be applying a more critical understanding of what “transforms” copied content, and that courts may be reforming “transformative use” to reinvigorate the other statutory factors, particularly the inquiry into the impact of the use on the potential markets for or value of the copied work. The court also provided an important explanation of copyrightable authorship in photographs.

In addition ...