Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 22 of 22

Full-Text Articles in Law

What's A Name Worth?: Experimental Tests Of The Value Of Attribution In Intellectual Property, Christopher J. Buccafusco, Christopher Jon Sprigman, Zachary C. Burns Nov 2012

What's A Name Worth?: Experimental Tests Of The Value Of Attribution In Intellectual Property, Christopher J. Buccafusco, Christopher Jon Sprigman, Zachary C. Burns

All Faculty Scholarship

Despite considerable research suggesting that creators value attribution – i.e., being named as the creator of a work – U.S. intellectual property (IP) law does not provide a right to attribution to the vast majority of creators. On the other side of the Atlantic, however, many European countries give creators, at least in their copyright laws, much stronger rights to attribution. At first blush it may seem that the U.S. has gotten it wrong, and the Europeans have made a better policy choice in providing to creators a right that they value. But for reasons we will explain in ...


Rethinking Rand: Sdo-Based Approaches To Patent Licensing Commitments, Jorge Contreras Oct 2012

Rethinking Rand: Sdo-Based Approaches To Patent Licensing Commitments, Jorge Contreras

Working Papers

So-called “reasonable and nondiscriminatory” (RAND) licensing commitments have been utilized by standards-development organizations (SDOs) for years in an attempt to alleviate the risk of patent hold-up in standard-setting. These commitments, however, have proven to be vague and offer few assurances to product vendors or patent holders. A recent surge of international litigation concerning RAND commitments has brought this issue to the attention of regulators, industry and the public, and many agree that a better approach is needed. In this paper, I identify seven “first principles” that underlie the licensing and enforcement of standards-essential patents (SEP)s. These can be summarized ...


Not So Obvious After All: Patent Law's Nonobviousness Requirement, Ksr, And The Fear Of Hindsight Bias, Glynn S. Lunney Jr, Christian T. Johnson Oct 2012

Not So Obvious After All: Patent Law's Nonobviousness Requirement, Ksr, And The Fear Of Hindsight Bias, Glynn S. Lunney Jr, Christian T. Johnson

Faculty Scholarship

Before the creation of the Federal Circuit in 1982, nonobviousness served as the primary gatekeeper for patents. When patent holders sued for infringement and lost, more than sixty percent of the time, they lost on the grounds that their patent was obvious. With the advent of the Federal Circuit, nonobviousness became a much less difficult hurdle to surmount. From 1982 until 2005, when patent holders sued for infringement and lost, obviousness was the reason in less than fifteen percent of the cases. While obviousness remained formally a requirement of patent protection, there can be little doubt that the Federal Circuit ...


The Direct Costs From Npe Disputes, Michael Meurer, James Bessen Jun 2012

The Direct Costs From Npe Disputes, Michael Meurer, James Bessen

Faculty Scholarship

In the past, “non-practicing entities” (NPEs), popularly known as “patent trolls,” have helped small inventors profit from their inventions. Is this true today or, given the unprecedented levels of NPE litigation, do NPEs reduce innovation incentives? Using a survey of defendants and a database of litigation, this paper estimates the direct costs to defendants arising from NPE patent assertions. We estimate that firms accrued $29 billion of direct costs in 2011. Although large firms accrued over half of direct costs, most of the defendants were small or medium-sized firms. Moreover, an examination of publicly listed NPEs indicates that little of ...


Best Mode Trade Secrets, Brian J. Love May 2012

Best Mode Trade Secrets, Brian J. Love

Faculty Publications

Trade secrecy and patent rights traditionally have been considered mutually exclusive. Trade secret rights are premised on secrecy. Patent rights, on the other hand, require public disclosure. Absent a sufficiently detailed description of the invention, patents are invalid. However, with the passage of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (“AIA”) last fall, this once black-and-white distinction may melt into something a little more gray. Now, an inventor’s failure to disclose in her patent the preferred method for carrying out the invention — the so-called “best mode” — will no longer invalidate her patent rights or otherwise render them unenforceable.

In this Essay ...


The Ontological Function Of The Patent Document, Andrew Chin Feb 2012

The Ontological Function Of The Patent Document, Andrew Chin

Faculty Publications

With the passage and impending implementation of the “first-to-file” provisions of the America Invents Act of 2011, the U.S. patent system must rely more than ever before on patent documents for its own ontological commitments concerning the existence of claimed kinds of useful objects and processes. This Article provides a comprehensive description of the previously unrecognized function of the patent document in incurring and securing warrants to these ontological commitments, and the respective roles of legal doctrines and practices in the patent system’s ontological project. Among other contributions, the resulting metaphysical account serves to reconcile competing interpretations of ...


Standards And Related Intellectual Property Issues For Climate Change Technology, Jorge Contreras Feb 2012

Standards And Related Intellectual Property Issues For Climate Change Technology, Jorge Contreras

Working Papers

Almost every product sold today must conform to standards, whether relating to its design, manufacture, operation, testing, safety, sale or disposal, and sometimes to many of these at once. At their root, standards are no more than written requirements or design features of a product, service or other activity. They can be breathtakingly detailed or disarmingly general, ranging from thousands of pages in length to just a few sentences. Standards are set by a wide range of bodies, from governmental agencies to industry consortia to multinational treaty organizations. Some standards are adopted into local, state or federal legislation and attain ...


Patent Reform And Best Mode: A Signal To The Patent Office Or A Step Toward Elimination?, Ryan G. Vacca Feb 2012

Patent Reform And Best Mode: A Signal To The Patent Office Or A Step Toward Elimination?, Ryan G. Vacca

Akron Law Publications

On September 16, 2011, President Obama signed the America Invents Act (AIA), the first major overhaul of the patent system in nearly sixty years. This article analyzes the recent change to patent law's best mode requirement under the AIA. Before the AIA, patent applicants were required, at the time of submitting their application, to disclose the best mode of carrying out the invention as contemplated by the inventor. A failure to disclose the best mode was a basis for a finding of invalidity of the relevant claims or could render the entire patent unenforceable under the doctrine of inequitable ...


Patent Reform And Best Mode: A Signal To The Patent Office Or A Step Toward Elimination?, Ryan G. Vacca Jan 2012

Patent Reform And Best Mode: A Signal To The Patent Office Or A Step Toward Elimination?, Ryan G. Vacca

Law Faculty Scholarship

On September 16, 2011, President Obama signed the America Invents Act (AIA), the first major overhaul of the patent system in nearly sixty years. This article analyzes the recent change to patent law's best mode requirement under the AIA. Before the AIA, patent applicants were required, at the time of submitting their application, to disclose the best mode of carrying out the invention as contemplated by the inventor. A failure to disclose the best mode was a basis for a finding of invalidity of the relevant claims or could render the entire patent unenforceable under the doctrine of inequitable ...


Patent Attorney Malpractice: Case-Within-A-Case-Within-A-Case, Samuel Oddi Jan 2012

Patent Attorney Malpractice: Case-Within-A-Case-Within-A-Case, Samuel Oddi

Akron Law Publications

As literary devices, a “story-within-a story” and a “play-within-a-play” have a long lineage. Shakespeare seems to have been particularly fond of these devices. The legal analog may be seen as the “case-within-a-case” (“trial-within-a-trial,” “suit-within-a-suit”) arising in legal malpractice cases. The case-within-a-case terminology seems to be the most commonly used and hence will be used herein. While it is clear that the “case” is the malpractice case, it is not so clear what the “case-within-” is, which is usually referred to as the “underlying case.” Often, it seems to be presumed that the underlying case is limited to litigation, which would ...


The America Invents Act, Its Unique First-To-File System And Its Transfer Of Power From Juries To The United States Patent And Trademark Office, Martin J. Adelman Jan 2012

The America Invents Act, Its Unique First-To-File System And Its Transfer Of Power From Juries To The United States Patent And Trademark Office, Martin J. Adelman

GW Law Faculty Publications & Other Works

The signing of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) by President Obama on 16 September 2011 is a landmark event in the history of American patent law. It has already been the subject of numerous articles on the web and in the law reviews as well as in the popular press. I have no intention here of going into all the details of the AIA, I just want to leave the reader with a sense for its eventual impact on American patent law. All the details are to be found in its 37 sections whose titles give the reader a ...


Standards, Patents, And The National Smart Grid, Jorge Contreras Jan 2012

Standards, Patents, And The National Smart Grid, Jorge Contreras

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is charged with overseeing the identification and selection of hundreds of standards that will be required to implement the national Smart Grid project. However, the benefits that could be realized from Smart Grid standardization could be threatened by a growing number of patents that cover Smart Grid architecture and technologies. If such patents are not revealed until technology is broadly distributed throughout the network (“locked-in”), significant disruption could occur when patent holders seek to collect unanticipated rents from large segments of the market. Moreover, even if patents are revealed early in the ...


Usefulness Varies By Country: The Utility Requirement Of Patent Law In The United States, Europe And Canada, Jay Erstling, Amy M. Salmela, Justin N. Woo Jan 2012

Usefulness Varies By Country: The Utility Requirement Of Patent Law In The United States, Europe And Canada, Jay Erstling, Amy M. Salmela, Justin N. Woo

Faculty Scholarship

The requirement that an invention have utility is one of the most fundamental of the patent laws. In the United States, for example, the concept of utility is rooted in the Constitution: Article 1, Section 8, gives Congress the power to grant exclusive rights to inventors in order “[t]o promote the progress of Science and useful Arts.” Other jurisdictions recognize utility in the form of inventions that have “industrial applicability” or are “capable of exploitation in industry,” with all of these terms and phrases generally viewed as being synonymous.

Historically, nearly every jurisdiction has excluded some type of invention ...


Patent Law As Public Law, Megan M. La Belle Jan 2012

Patent Law As Public Law, Megan M. La Belle

Scholarly Articles and Other Contributions

Historically, patent litigation has been viewed and treated primarily as private law litigation, as opposed to public law litigation. This paradigm has begun to shift, however, as various stakeholders have come to acknowledge the profound impact that the patent system – and particularly invalid patents – have on the public at large. Yet, in order for a public law regime to succeed, there must be a host of enforcement mechanisms available, including the opportunity for privately-initiated litigation.

Public interest organizations have played a prominent role in the enforcement of certain public rights, such as free speech, equal protection, and environmental laws. While ...


The Technological Edge, Elizabeth I. Winston Jan 2012

The Technological Edge, Elizabeth I. Winston

Scholarly Articles and Other Contributions

To grant a patent to natural phenomena hinders innovation, taking back from the public that which the public has a right to possess. To deny a patent to man’s manufacture undercuts the fundamental bargain of the patent system. All inventions, at their core, may be deemed natural, rendering it difficult to distinguish between man’s manufacture and natural phenomena. Determining whether the innovative aspect of the product is a technological one, rather than a natural one, can clarify whether the patent grant promotes the progress of science and the useful arts. The higher the level of skill in the ...


Scaling The Patent System, Christina Mulligan, Timothy B. Lee Jan 2012

Scaling The Patent System, Christina Mulligan, Timothy B. Lee

Scholarly Works

Why do firms in some industries ignore patents when developing new products? This paper posits a simple but novel answer to this long-puzzling question: firms ignore patents because they are unable to discover the patents their activities might infringe. The costs of finding relevant patents, which we call discovery costs, are prohibitively high.

Not all industries face high patent discovery costs. Chemical patents are "indexable," meaning that relevant patents can be efficiently retrieved by chemical formula. As a result, discovery costs in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries are low, and inadvertent infringement by firms in these industries is rare. But ...


The Private And Social Costs Of Patent Trolls, Michael Meurer, James Bessen, Jennifer Ford Jan 2012

The Private And Social Costs Of Patent Trolls, Michael Meurer, James Bessen, Jennifer Ford

Faculty Scholarship

The emergence of nonpracticing entities (NPEs) — firms that purchase and hold patent rights but neither innovate themselves nor use the patents in the production of goods — is supposed to incentivize innovation by providing a ready market for innovators. We test this idea empirically and find that NPEs produce little returns for innovators or for their own shareholders, but they place significant costs on productive firms that violate patents inadvertently. Indeed, it appears that NPEs — often disparagingly called “patent trolls” — discourage productive firms from innovating for fear that they will then be subject to a patent troll suit. Thus, NPEs may ...


The New Federal Circuit Mandamus, Paul Gugliuzza Jan 2012

The New Federal Circuit Mandamus, Paul Gugliuzza

Faculty Scholarship

This Article explores an ongoing revolution in the mandamus jurisprudence of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the court of appeals with nearly exclusive jurisdiction over patent cases. Before December 2008, the Federal Circuit had never used the interlocutory writ of mandamus to order a district court to transfer a case to a more convenient forum, denying each one of the twenty-two petitions it had decided on that issue. Since that time, however, the court has overturned eleven different venue decisions on mandamus. Remarkably, ten of those eleven cases have come from the same district court ...


Communities Of Innovation, Michael Mattioli Jan 2012

Communities Of Innovation, Michael Mattioli

Articles by Maurer Faculty

This Article examines and evaluates the theory that patent holders privately self-correct the government’s excessive apportionment of patent rights by means of various cooperative efforts including patent pools, research consortia, and similar licensing collectives. According to some experts, these efforts are proof that market participants have the wisdom and the will to collectively disarm their patent arsenals in order to advance long-term innovation. But until now, this theory of market self-correction has not been evaluated through empirical study. Drawing on interviews and original research, this Article provides an ethnographic view of collective patent licensing episodes. Amidst these stories of ...


A New Look At Patent Quality: Relating Patent Prosecution To Validity, Ronald J. Mann, Marian Underweiser Jan 2012

A New Look At Patent Quality: Relating Patent Prosecution To Validity, Ronald J. Mann, Marian Underweiser

Faculty Scholarship

The article uses two hand‐collected data sets to implement a novel research design for analyzing the precursors to patent quality. Operationalizing patent “quality” as legal validity, the article analyzes the relation between Federal Circuit decisions on patent validity and three sets of data about the patents: quantitative features of the patents themselves, textual analysis of the patent documents, and data collected from the prosecution histories of the patents. The article finds large and statistically significant relations between ex post validity and both textual features of the patents and ex ante aspects of the prosecution history (especially prior art submissions ...


Gat, Solvay, And The Centralization Of Patent Litigation In Europe, Marketa Trimble Jan 2012

Gat, Solvay, And The Centralization Of Patent Litigation In Europe, Marketa Trimble

Scholarly Works

No abstract provided.


Forward To Festschrift Honoring Chief Judge Rader, Martin J. Adelman Jan 2012

Forward To Festschrift Honoring Chief Judge Rader, Martin J. Adelman

GW Law Faculty Publications & Other Works

This Forward discusses papers that highlight the judicial work of Chief Judge Rader in the field of patent law.