Patent Law

W. Keith Robinson, Economic Theory, Divided Infringement, and Enforcing Interactive Patents

Abstract High tech companies—especially in the emerging areas of the Internet of Things, wearable devices, and personalized medicine—have found it difficult to enforce their patents on interactive technologies. Enforcement is especially difficult when multiple parties combine to perform all of the steps of a claimed method, which is referred to as joint or divided infringement. […]

Alan Devlin, Antitrust Limits on Targeted Patent Aggregation

Patent-assertion entities (PAEs) are non-technology-practicing companies that aggregate and license patents under threat of suit. Their activities have drawn fire, including presidential condemnation, and spurred proposed legislation to protect operating firms against them. PAEs leverage flaws in the patent system to extort firms that independently invent and sell technological goods to consumers. Since PAEs tax […]

Jeffrey A. Lefstin, Inventive Application: A History

The Supreme Court’s recent cases on patent-eligible subject matter have struggled to draw the line between unpatentable fundamental principles, such as laws of nature and abstract ideas, and patentable inventions. In Mayo v. Prometheus, the Court suggested that only “inventive applications” of fundamental principles fall within the domain of the patent system. Both Mayo and […]

Xuan-Thao Nguyen, In the Name of Patent Stewardship: The Federal Circuit's Overreach into Commercial Law

While the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has admirably commandeered its stewardship of patent law—Congress bestowed the Federal Circuit with exclusive jurisdiction over patent appeals since 1982—the court has unabashedly extended its reach, unwelcomed, into commercial law. Camouflaged in the name of patent stewardship, the Federal Circuit’s foray into commercial law has […]

William Hubbard, The Debilitating Effect of Exclusive Rights: Patents and Productive Inefficiency

Are we underestimating the costs of patent protection? Scholars have long recognized that patent law is a double-edged sword. While patents promote innovation, they also limit the number of people who can benefit from new inventions. In the past, policy makers striving to balance the costs and benefits of patents have analyzed patent law through […]

Jason Rantanen & Lee Petherbridge, Ph.D., Disuniformity

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is a response to a failure in judicial administration that produced a fractured, unworkable patent law—one that Congress concluded ill-served entrepreneurship and innovation. The purpose of the response—vesting exclusive jurisdiction for patent appeals in the Federal Circuit—was to permit that court to develop patent law […]