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A Functional Approach To Judicial Review Of Ptab Rulings On Mixed Questions Of Law And Fact, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jul 2019

A Functional Approach To Judicial Review Of Ptab Rulings On Mixed Questions Of Law And Fact, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“Federal Circuit”) has long relied on active appellate review to bring uniformity and clarity to patent law. It initially treated the PTO the same as the federal district courts, reviewing its factual findings for clear error and its legal conclusions de novo. Following reversal by the Supreme Court in Dickinson v. Zurko, the Federal Circuit began giving greater deference to PTO factual findings. But it continued to review the PTO’s legal conclusions de novo, while coding an expansive list of disputed issues in patent cases as legal conclusions, even when they ...


Irrational Ignorance At The Patent Office, Michael D. Frakes, Melissa F. Wasserman Jan 2019

Irrational Ignorance At The Patent Office, Michael D. Frakes, Melissa F. Wasserman

Faculty Scholarship

There is widespread belief that the Patent Office issues too many bad patents that impose significant harms on society. At first glance, the solution to the patent quality crisis seems straightforward: give patent examiners more time to review applications so they grant patents only to those inventions that deserve them. Yet the answer to the harms of invalid patents may not be that easy. It is possible that the Patent Office is, as Mark Lemley famously wrote, “rationally ignorant.” In Rational Ignorance at the Patent Office, Lemley argued that because so few patents are economically significant, it makes sense to ...


Patent Trial And Appeal Board's Consistency-Enhancing Function, Michael D. Frakes, Melissa F. Wasserman Jan 2019

Patent Trial And Appeal Board's Consistency-Enhancing Function, Michael D. Frakes, Melissa F. Wasserman

Faculty Scholarship

Agency heads, who have the primary responsibility for setting an agency's policy preferences, have a variety of tools by which they attempt to minimize the discretion of their staff officials in an effort to ensure agency policy preferences are consistently applied. One such mechanism is subjecting agency official's determinations to higher-level agency review. While scholars have long surmised that judges seek to minimize reversal of their decisions by a higher-level court, how agency officials' decisions are influenced by higher-level agency reconsideration has mostly eluded analysis.

In this Essay, we begin to fill this gap by examining the extent ...


From Venetian Glass To Contemporary Intellectual Property: Revisiting Tailored Patent Regimes (Book Review), Ana Santos Rutschman Jan 2019

From Venetian Glass To Contemporary Intellectual Property: Revisiting Tailored Patent Regimes (Book Review), Ana Santos Rutschman

All Faculty Scholarship

This piece reviews Stefania Fusco's “Murano Glass Vase" and "Lessons from the Past." In Murano Glass Vase, Fusco recounts the history of the glassmaking industry in Venice, framing it as the natural experiment from which the patent system sprang into the world. Fusco emphasizes the mix of exclusionary rights and trade secrecy that formed the backbone of Venetian innovation policy against the backdrop of a heavily regulated and protectionist economy. In “Lessons from the Past,” Fusco draws on original research performed at the Venetian State Archives to further the Murano narrative by looking at how the Venetian government fueled ...