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Patent Validity Across The Executive Branch: Ex Ante Foundations For Policy Development, Arti K. Rai Mar 2012

Patent Validity Across The Executive Branch: Ex Ante Foundations For Policy Development, Arti K. Rai

Duke Law Journal

Among patent scholars who address institutional questions, many favor the courts over the PTO as the policymaker of choice. Even though courts have familiar limitations with respect to policymaking, scholars often argue that the PTO is more likely to be captured. This Essay argues that the capture story has significant limits, particularly in key cases where PTO decision making has been influenced by other executive-branch decision makers. Meanwhile, exclusive reliance on ex post judicial development can yield a one-way ratchet towards the expansion of patent protection. When courts expand patent rights, they generally do not have to worry about retroactive ...