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

Antitrust

Faculty Scholarship

Intellectual Property Law

Boston University School of Law

2020

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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 …