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A Matter Of Facts: The Evolution Of Copyright’S Fact-Exclusion And Its Implications For Disinformation And Democracy, Jessica Silbey Jan 2024

A Matter Of Facts: The Evolution Of Copyright’S Fact-Exclusion And Its Implications For Disinformation And Democracy, Jessica Silbey

Faculty Scholarship

The Article begins with a puzzle: the curious absence of an express fact-exclusion from copyright protection in both the Copyright Act and its legislative history despite it being a well-founded legal principle. It traces arguments in the foundational Supreme Court case (Feist Publications v. Rural Telephone Service) and in the Copyright Act’s legislative history to discern a basis for the fact-exclusion. That research trail produces a legal genealogy of the fact-exclusion based in early copyright common law anchored by canonical cases, Baker v. Selden, Burrow-Giles v. Sarony, and Wheaton v. Peters. Surprisingly, none of them …


Jack Daniel’S And The Unfulfilled Promise Of Trademark Use, Stacey Dogan, Jessica Silbey Jan 2024

Jack Daniel’S And The Unfulfilled Promise Of Trademark Use, Stacey Dogan, Jessica Silbey

Faculty Scholarship

In Jack Daniel’s v. VIP Products, the Supreme Court announced a bright-line rule: whatever speech protections govern the use of trademarks in artistic works, no such rule applies “when an alleged infringer uses a trademark in the way the Lanham Act most cares about: as a designation of source for the infringer’s own goods.” Those who engage in “trademark use,” in other words, must face the usual likelihood-of-confusion standard, regardless of whether their use also has expressive dimensions. The Jack Daniel’s defendant conceded that it was engaged in trademark use, so the opinion did not do the hard work …


Copyright Fiduciaries: Problems And Solutions, Jessica Silbey Oct 2023

Copyright Fiduciaries: Problems And Solutions, Jessica Silbey

Faculty Scholarship

Andrew Gilden & Eva E. Subotnik, Copyright’s Capacity Gap, 57 U.C. Davis L. Rev. __ (forthcoming, 2023), available at SSRN (Aug. 9, 2023).

In this forthcoming article, Andrew Gilden and Eva Subotnik begin an important conversation about an underexplored area of copyright law. Their focus is copyright law’s inconsistent treatment of mental capacity. Under copyright law, copyright authors can produce valuable copyrighted work but those same authors may lack the legal capacity to make decisions about if, when, or how to exploit that work. For example, children and people with mental illness or disability can be copyright authors, but …


Utility, Copyright, And Fair Use After Warhol, Keith N. Hylton Sep 2023

Utility, Copyright, And Fair Use After Warhol, Keith N. Hylton

Faculty Scholarship

This paper is a reaction to AWF v. Goldsmith (Warhol), which finds that Warhol’s adaptation of a photograph of Prince, taken by photographer Lynn Goldsmith, is not protected from copyright liability by the fair use defense. The Warhol dissent accuses the majority of being overly concerned with the commercial character of Warhol’s use, while the dissent emphasizes the artistically transformative quality of Warhol’s adaptation. These different approaches provide strong evidence that the theory of fair use remains unclear to the Court. There is a need for a simple positive theory of the fair use doctrine. That need was largely …


Foreword, Jessica Silbey Mar 2023

Foreword, Jessica Silbey

Faculty Scholarship

Most of us think we are familiar with graffiti – lettering on trains or graphic images on walls that follow us as we walk by. But Enrico Bonadio’s new book on graffiti and street art opens a door to more complex and nuanced worlds of artists and their communities. The focus is on everyday creators of graffiti and street art. Built from nearly 100 interviews and hundreds of hours of observation, the book is filled with the voices of artists and vivid details of their plein air studios and interactions. Also present in the book is the author, who weaves …


A New Approach To Patent Reform, Janet Freilich, Michael J. Meurer, Mark Schankerman, Florian Schuett Feb 2023

A New Approach To Patent Reform, Janet Freilich, Michael J. Meurer, Mark Schankerman, Florian Schuett

Faculty Scholarship

Scholars and policy makers have tried for years to solve the tenacious and harmful crisis of low quality, erroneously granted patents. Far from resolving the problem, these determined efforts have resulted in hundreds of conflicting policy proposals, failed Congressional bills, and no way to evaluate the policies’ value or impact or to decide between the overwhelming multiplicity of policies.

This Article provides not only new solutions, but a new approach for designing and assessing policies both in patent law and legal systems more generally. We introduce a formal economic model of the patent system that differs from existing scholarship because …


A Patent And A Prize, Keith N. Hylton Feb 2023

A Patent And A Prize, Keith N. Hylton

Faculty Scholarship

This paper examines a simple and old question: should innovators receive a patent or a prize? The answer I provide is equally simple: they should receive both. The literature on patents versus prizes has proceeded mostly under the assumption that there should be a choice between a regime of patents and a regime of prizes in which patents fall into the public domain upon award of the prize. There are significant “public choice costs” under the prize plans. By this I mean there are risks of inappropriate transfers to patentees – that is, looting – and of confiscation of patentees, …


A Qualitative Method For Investigating Design, Jessica Silbey, Mark P. Mckenna Jan 2023

A Qualitative Method For Investigating Design, Jessica Silbey, Mark P. Mckenna

Faculty Scholarship

This chapter describes our qualitative study of designers and design practice. It situates the study in the broader field of empirical studies of intellectual property, and it describes in detail the methodology and benefits of a qualitative interview study of designers and design practice to shed light on some of the persistent puzzles in design law. The chapter focuses on four lines of inquiry: defining “design” and “design practice” from within the profession; exploring the various inputs to design practice and the process of “problem solving” designers pursue; understanding what “integrated” form and function mean to designers; and explaining the …


Questions Of Intellectual Property And Fundamental Values In The Digital Age, Jessica Silbey Jan 2023

Questions Of Intellectual Property And Fundamental Values In The Digital Age, Jessica Silbey

Faculty Scholarship

Today's intellectual property debates, in both law and the larger society, are a bellwether of changing justice needs in the twenty-first century. As the digital age democratizes technological opportunities, it brings intellectual property law into mainstream everyday culture. This generates debates about the relationship between the constitutional interest in "the progress of science and useful arts" and other fundamental values, such as equality, privacy, and distributive justice. These values, which were not explicitly part of intellectual property regimes in prior eras, are especially challenged in today's internet world.

The article (which was presented as the annual Nies Lecture in April …


Centering Black Women In Patent History, Jessica Silbey Nov 2022

Centering Black Women In Patent History, Jessica Silbey

Faculty Scholarship

Professor Kara Swanson’s latest article is a remarkable example of legal historical scholarship that excavates stories from the past to illuminate the present. It is chock full of archival evidence and historical analysis that explains gaps and silences in the United States patent registry as evidence of marginalized inventors–particularly Black women–who should be named inventors but are not.

The article is arresting reading for anyone interested in antebellum history, intellectual property, and the intersection of racism and sexism in law. Mostly, I am grateful to Professor Swanson for doing the obviously very hard work of digging through archives, reading microfiche, …


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

Nonpatentability Of Business Methods: Legal And Economic Analysis, Peter Menell, Michael J. 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 subject matter provision. …


Competition And Innovation: The Breakup Of Ig Farben, Felix Poege Aug 2022

Competition And Innovation: The Breakup Of Ig Farben, Felix Poege

Faculty Scholarship

The relationship between competition and innovation is difficult to disentangle, as exogenous variation in market structure is rare. The 1952 breakup of Germany’s leading chemical company, IG Farben, represents such a disruption. After the Second World War, the Allies occupying Germany imposed the breakup because of IG Farben’s importance for the German war economy instead of standard antitrust concerns. In technology areas where the breakup reduced concentration, patenting increased strongly, driven by domestic firms unrelated to IG Farben. An analysis of patent texts shows that an increased propensity to patent does not drive the effect. Descriptively, IG Farben’s successors increased …


Sy-Stem-Ic Bias: An Exploration Of Gender And Race Representation On University Patents, Jordana Goodman Apr 2022

Sy-Stem-Ic Bias: An Exploration Of Gender And Race Representation On University Patents, Jordana Goodman

Faculty Scholarship

People of color and women are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and math (“STEM”) fields in the United States. Through both intentional and unintentional structural barriers, universities continue to lose valuable intellectual resources by perpetuating a lack of gender, racial, and ethnic diversity as people climb the academic ladder. Identifying racial and gender disparities between university campus populations and their patent representation quantifies the qualitatively observed systemic racism and sexism plaguing STEM. Although many have written about racial and gender underrepresentation in STEM, no author has ever endeavored to simultaneously quantify the racial and gender gap at universities in the …


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

Bilski And The Information Age A Decade Later, Michael J. 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.


Who Benefits?: How The Aia Hurt Deceptively Non-Joined Inventors, Jordana Goodman Jan 2022

Who Benefits?: How The Aia Hurt Deceptively Non-Joined Inventors, Jordana Goodman

Faculty Scholarship

Congress enacted the America Invents Act (“AIA”) to bolster economic development, sustain American innovation, and protect American jobs. This pro-business legislation, however, overlooked one actor critical to any successful innovation endeavor: the inventor. The AIA created access barriers, preventing inventors from efficiently and effectively seeking the entire remedy spectrum to which they are entitled. Paul Morinville and others have opined that the new first-to-file system put small inventors out of business, naming the AIA the single worst disaster in the history of the U.S. patent system. Beyond the filing and subject matter changes, the AIA created fundamental access to justice …


Four Privacy Stories And Two Hard Cases, Jessica Silbey Jan 2022

Four Privacy Stories And Two Hard Cases, Jessica Silbey

Faculty Scholarship

In the context of reviewing Scott Skinner's book "Privacy at the Margins" (Cambridge University Press, 2021), this article discusses four "privacy stories" (justifications for and explanation of the application of privacy law) that need substantiation and reinterpretation for the 21st century and for what I call "fourth generation" privacy law and scholarship. The article then considers these stories (and Skinner's analysis of them) in light of two "hard" cases, one he discusses in his book and one recently decided by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, both concerning privacy in taking and dissemination of photographs.


Investigating Design, Jessica Silbey, Mark P. Mckenna Jan 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 gap and is …


New Copyright Stories: Clearing The Way For Fair Wages And Equitable Working Conditions In American Theater And Other Creative Industries, Jessica Silbey Jan 2022

New Copyright Stories: Clearing The Way For Fair Wages And Equitable Working Conditions In American Theater And Other Creative Industries, Jessica Silbey

Faculty Scholarship

We need some new intellectual property stories. By stories, I don’t mean entertaining fictions. I mean instead accounts or explanations that make sense of the world as it is lived by everyday people. Most of our relevant intellectual property laws were forged in the mid-twentieth century and have failed to keep pace with the transformations in creative and innovative practices of the twentyfirst. Being out-of-sync or failing to recognize broader existing stakeholders means laws are poorly aligned with on-the-ground realities and are out-of-touch with values and interests of the people laws serve. The Article at the center of this Symposium …


Homography Of Inventorship: Dabus And Valuing Inventors, Jordana Goodman Jan 2022

Homography Of Inventorship: Dabus And Valuing Inventors, Jordana Goodman

Faculty Scholarship

On July 28, 2021, the Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience ("DAB US") became the first computer to be recognized as a patent inventor. Due to the advocacy of DAB US's inventor, Dr. Stephen Thaler, the world's definition of "inventor" has finally fractured - dividing patent regimes between recognition of machine inventorship and lack thereof This division has sparked many scholarly conversations about inventorship contribution, but none have discussed the implications of a homographic inventorship.

This Article addresses the implications of international homographic inventorship - where countries have different notions and rules concerning patent inventorship - and the …


Ms. Attribution: How Authorship Credit Contributes To The Gender Gap, Jordana Goodman Jan 2022

Ms. Attribution: How Authorship Credit Contributes To The Gender Gap, Jordana Goodman

Faculty Scholarship

Misattribution plagues the practice of law in the United States. Seasoned practitioners and legislators alike will often claim full credit for joint work and, in some cases, for the entirety of a junior associate’s writing. The powerful over-credit themselves on legislation, opinions, and other legal works to the detriment of junior staff and associates. The ingrained and expected practice of leveraging junior attorneys as ghost-writers is, to many, unethical. But it presents a distinct concern that others have yet to interrogate: misattribution disparately impacts underrepresented members of the legal profession.

This Article fills that space by offering a quantitative analysis …


Trademark, Labor Law, And Antitrust, Oh My!, Jessica Silbey Sep 2021

Trademark, Labor Law, And Antitrust, Oh My!, Jessica Silbey

Faculty Scholarship

I am allergic to antitrust law, but after reading Hiba Hafiz’s recent article, I understand that my aversion is problematic. This paper combines an analysis of trademark law, labor law, and antitrust law to explain how employers exploit trademark law protections and defenses to control labor markets and underpay and under-protect workers. For most IP lawyers and professors, this article will open our minds to some collateral effects of trademark law’s consumer protection rationale on other areas of law with important consequences for economic and social policies.


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 …


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.


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 is …


Copyright And Parody: Touring The Certainties Of Intellectual Property And Restitution, Wendy J. Gordon Jan 2021

Copyright And Parody: Touring The Certainties Of Intellectual Property And Restitution, Wendy J. Gordon

Faculty Scholarship

The essay that follows examines the boundary between two sets of rules. The first set arises under the law of Restitution, particularly the rule that volunteers ordinarily need not be rewarded. (Another way to state this same Restitution rule is to say that the retention of benefit voluntarily conferred is ordinarily not "unjust enrichment".) The second set of rules are those of Intellectual Property law, which creates property in a special kind of volunteer. My argument is simply that the law of Restitution leads almost directly to the law of Intellectual Property, though the two areas are premised on diametrically …


Fixing Informational Asymmetry Through Trademark Search, Jessica Silbey Aug 2020

Fixing Informational Asymmetry Through Trademark Search, Jessica Silbey

Faculty Scholarship

I call this paper a “Levendowski special.” It follows the signature format of much of Professor Levendowski’s prior work which, as in the latest article, recruits a legal tool typically aimed at one set of problems for the purpose of cleverly addressing a different set of problems. Her past articles harnessed copyright law to “fix artificial intelligence’s implicit bias” (2018) and to “combat revenge porn.” (2014). This paper draws on Professor Levendowski’s expertise working in private practice as a trademark attorney to address the problem of surveillance technology opacity. It is a primer on how to investigate trademark …


Fair Use In Oracle: Proximate Cause At The Copyright/Patent Divide, Wendy J. Gordon Mar 2020

Fair Use In Oracle: Proximate Cause At The Copyright/Patent Divide, Wendy J. Gordon

Faculty Scholarship

In Oracle America, Inc. v. Google LLC, the Federal Circuit undermined copyright law’s deference to patent law and, in doing so, delivered a blow to both regimes. Copyright’s deference— including a historic refusal to enforce rights that might undermine the public’s liberty to copy unpatented inventions-- is a necessary part of preserving inventors’ willingness to accept the short duration, mandatory disclosure, and other stringent bargains demanded by patent law. Deference to patent law is also integral to copyright law’s interior architecture; copyright’s refusal to monopolize functional applications of creative work lowers the social costs that would otherwise be imposed by …


Against Progress: Interventions About Equality In Supreme Court Cases About Copyright Law, Jessica Silbey Jan 2020

Against Progress: Interventions About Equality In Supreme Court Cases About Copyright Law, Jessica Silbey

Faculty Scholarship

This symposium essay is adapted from my forthcoming book Against Progress: Intellectual Property and Fundamental Values in the Internet Age (Stanford University Press 2021 forthcoming). The book’s primary argument is that, with the rise of digital technology and the ubiquity of the internet, intellectual property law is becoming a mainstream part of law and culture. This mainstreaming of IP has particular effects, one of which is the surfacing of on-going debates about “progress of science and the useful arts,” which is the constitutional purpose of intellectual property rights.

In brief, Against Progress describes how in the 20th century intellectual property …


Response To Oliar And Stern: On Duration, The Idea/Expression Dichotomy, And Time, Wendy J. Gordon Jan 2020

Response To Oliar And Stern: On Duration, The Idea/Expression Dichotomy, And Time, Wendy J. Gordon

Faculty Scholarship

Courts often use possession to determine who should own unclaimed resources. Yet, as Oliar and Stern demonstrate, the concept of possession is little more than a metaphor, capable of being applied to a broad range of phenomena. The authors helpfully deploy “time” as a metric to sort through the rules determining what should count as possession, and they survey the likely costs and benefits attached to choosing earlier versus later events as triggers for acquiring title.

With those tools in hand, Oliar and Stern employ “time” and the analogy of physical possession to address problems in copyright, patent, and trademark …


Death Of Copyright, Paul Gugliuzza Dec 2019

Death Of Copyright, Paul Gugliuzza

Faculty Scholarship

The four primary bodies of intellectual property law—patent law, copyright law, trademark law, and the law of trade secrets—address the question of duration in different ways. Trade secrets have no fixed duration; the law protects against misappropriation as long as the relevant information remains secret. Trademark protection lasts as long as the mark retains its capacity to distinguish the goods or services it is attached to. In patent law—my primary area of scholarship—duration is fixed, finite, and generally straightforward to determine: you get twenty years from the date you file your patent application. Copyright duration, by contrast, varies depending on …