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Full-Text Articles in Law

Startups And Patent Trolls, Colleen Chien Sep 2012

Startups And Patent Trolls, Colleen Chien

Faculty Publications

While patent assertion entities (or patent “trolls”) have received a lot of attention, little of it has focused on the distributional impacts of their demands. The impact on PAEs on startups is crucial, because startups contribute to job creation and innovation, making them potential targets and sources of patents. To assess the impact of trolls on startups, I analyzed a comprehensive database of patent litigations from 2005 to the present, conducted a non-random survey of 223 tech company startups, and interviewed nearly twenty entities with relevant knowledge of startup patent issues.

I find that although large companies tend to dominate …


Reforming Software Patents, Colleen Chien Aug 2012

Reforming Software Patents, Colleen Chien

Faculty Publications

While many believe the patent system has hit a historic and unprecedented low, discontent with patents, and in particular with software patents, is nothing new. In 1966, a Presidential Commission recommended prohibiting software patents because of the PTO’s inability to vet them. In 1883, the Supreme Court railed against “speculative schemers who make it their business to watch the advancing wave of improvement and gather its foam in the form of patented monopolies, which enable them to lay a heavy tax.” In 1836, the Ruggles Report documented how lax patent standards, “encourag[ed] fraudulent speculators in patent rights, deluging the entire …


Toward A Situational Model For Regulating International Crimes, Andrew K. Woods Jul 2012

Toward A Situational Model For Regulating International Crimes, Andrew K. Woods

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

The international criminal regime, as currently conceived, relies almost exclusively on the power of backward-looking criminal sanctions to deter future international crimes. This model reflects the dominant mid-century approach to crime control, which was essentially reactive. Since then, domestic criminal scholars and practitioners have developed and implemented new theories of crime control—theories notable for their promise of crime prevention through ex ante attention to community and environmental factors. Community policing crime prevention through environmental design, and related "situational" approaches to crime control have had a significant impact on the administration of domestic criminal law.

This Article evaluates the implications of …


Willful Patent Infringement And Enhanced Damages After In Re Seagate: An Empirical Study, Christopher B. Seaman Jan 2012

Willful Patent Infringement And Enhanced Damages After In Re Seagate: An Empirical Study, Christopher B. Seaman

Scholarly Articles

Willful patent infringement is a critical issue in patent litigation, as it can result in an award of up to treble (enhanced) damages. In a 2007 decision, In re Seagate, 497 F.3d 1360 (en banc), the Federal Circuit significantly altered the standard governing willful infringement by requiring the patentee to prove at least "objective recklessness" by the accused infringer. Many observers predicted that this heightened standard would result in far fewer willfulness findings and enhanced damage awards. To date, however, there has been no comprehensive empirical study of Seagate's actual impact in patent litigation.

This paper fills that gap by …


The Consumer Bankruptcy Fee Study: Final Report, Lois R. Lupica Jan 2012

The Consumer Bankruptcy Fee Study: Final Report, Lois R. Lupica

Faculty Publications

The Consumer Fee Study’s primary objective is to identify and monetize these costs of bankruptcy access through the analysis of quantitative and qualitative data gathered from court dockets and from professionals working within the bankruptcy system. We began the quantitative section with the hypothesis that following BAPCPA’s enactment, the cost of accessing the consumer bankruptcy system increased. We set out to determine the degree of increased costs, as well as to identify the specific policies and practices affecting these costs. Additionally, we endeavored to evaluate, with specificity, how diverse local procedures and guidelines impact the system’s processes and outcomes. Our …


The Evolution Of Contractual Terms In Sovereign Bonds, Stephen J. Choi, Mitu Gulati, Eric A. Posner Jan 2012

The Evolution Of Contractual Terms In Sovereign Bonds, Stephen J. Choi, Mitu Gulati, Eric A. Posner

Faculty Scholarship

In reaction to defaults on sovereign debt contracts, issuers and creditors have strengthened the terms in sovereign debt contracts that enable creditors to enforce their debts judicially and that enable sovereigns to restructure their debts. These apparently contradictory approaches reflect attempts to solve an incomplete contracting problem in which debtors need to be forced to repay debts in good states of the world; debtors need to be granted partial relief from debt payments in bad states; debtors may attempt to exploit divisions among creditors in order to opportunistically reduce their debt burden; debtors may engage in excessively risky activities using …


Empirical Studies Of Contract, Zev J. Eigen Jan 2012

Empirical Studies Of Contract, Zev J. Eigen

Faculty Working Papers

Since the mid 2000s, a cottage industry has slowly blossomed of empirical research dedicated to advancing accounts of contracts "on the books"--accounting for what contracts tend to purportedly obligate signers to do, and contracts "in action"--accounting for how contracting parties tend to behave. This article reviews this literature, which spans several disciplines, most notably law, economics, and management, identifying eight categories of empirical questions in common across all disciplines, highlighting key findings, points of consensus, and noting areas most pressingly in need of additional research.


Secret Class Action Settlements, Rhonda Wasserman Jan 2012

Secret Class Action Settlements, Rhonda Wasserman

Articles

This Article analyzes the phenomenon of secret class action settlements. To illustrate the practice, Part I undertakes a case study of a class action lawsuit that recently settled under seal. Part II seeks to ascertain the scope of the practice. Part II.A examines newspaper accounts describing class action settlements from around the country. Part II.B focuses on a single federal judicial district – the Western District of Pennsylvania – and seeks to ascertain the percentage of suits filed as class actions that were settled under seal. Having gained some understanding of the scope of the practice, the Article then seeks …


Does Ideology Matter In Bankruptcy? Voting Behavior On The Courts Of Appeals, Rafael I. Pardo, Jonathan Remy Nash Jan 2012

Does Ideology Matter In Bankruptcy? Voting Behavior On The Courts Of Appeals, Rafael I. Pardo, Jonathan Remy Nash

Scholarship@WashULaw

This Article empirically examines the question of whether courts of appeals judges cast ideological votes in the context of bankruptcy. The empirical study is unique insofar as it is the first to specifically examine the voting behavior of circuit court judges in bankruptcy cases. More importantly, it focuses on a particular type of dispute that arises in bankruptcy - debt-dischargeability determinations. The study implements this focused approach in order to reduce heterogeneity in result. We find, contrary to our hypotheses, no evidence that circuit court judges engage in ideological voting in bankruptcy cases. We do find, however, non-ideological factors - …


“Testing” Fuller’S Forms And Limits: A Brief Response To Oldfather, Bockhorst, & Dimmer, Scott R. Bauries Jan 2012

“Testing” Fuller’S Forms And Limits: A Brief Response To Oldfather, Bockhorst, & Dimmer, Scott R. Bauries

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

In Triangulating Judicial Responsiveness, Chad Oldfather, Joseph Bockhorst, and Brian Dimmer give us a methodology by which we can empirically assess (among other things) the effects that argumentation has on judicial decision making. Unlike the vast majority of empirical legal scholarship of judging, the authors do not use this methodology in their current study to compare “legalist” explanations of judging with “realist” explanations of judging. Rather, the study operates almost entirely within the “legalist” frame. This is a welcome development for many reasons, one on which this Response focuses—the authors’ methodology illustrates a way of scientifically “testing” descriptive legal …


The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Board Of Adjustment: Fifty Years Later, Kathryn L. Moore Jan 2012

The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Board Of Adjustment: Fifty Years Later, Kathryn L. Moore

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

Fifty years ago, Jesse Dukeminier, Jr. and Clyde Stapleton published a case study of the practice of law before the Lexington-Fayette Urban County (LFUC) Board of Adjustment. This Article presents a new empirical study of the LFUC Board of Adjustment. Specifically, the study covers the eighteen month period from the Board’s July 2007 meeting through its December 2008 meeting. This Article discusses how the practice has changed and improved in the years since the Dukeminier-Stapleton study and the problems and difficulties that still remain.

The Article begins by describing the current procedure before the LFUC Board of Adjustment and how …