The Patent Crisis and How the Courts Can Solve It

The Patent Crisis and How the Courts Can Solve It

by Dan L. Burk, Mark A. Lemley

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Patent law is crucial to encourage technological innovation. But as the patent system currently stands, diverse industries from pharmaceuticals to software to semiconductors are all governed by the same rules even though they innovate very differently. The result is a crisis in the patent system, where patents calibrated to the needs of prescription drugs wreak havoc on information technologies and vice versa. According to Dan L. Burk and Mark A. Lemley in The Patent Crisis and How the Courts Can Solve It, courts should use the tools the patent system already gives them to treat patents in different industries differently. Industry tailoring is the only way to provide an appropriate level of incentive for each industry.

Burk and Lemley illustrate the barriers to innovation created by the catch-all standards in the current system. Legal tools already present in the patent statute, they contend, offer a solution—courts can tailor patent law, through interpretations and applications, to suit the needs of various types of businesses. The Patent Crisis and How the Courts Can Solve It will be essential reading for those seeking to understand the nexus of economics, business, and law in the twenty-first century.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226080635
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 08/01/2009
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 232
File size: 354 KB

About the Author

Dan L. Burk is Chancellor’s Professor of Law at the University of California, Irvine. Mark A. Lemley is the William H. Neukom Professor of Law at Stanford University and a partner at Durie Tangri.

Table of Contents


Part I    The Problem

1    The Gathering Storm

2    Foundations of the Patent System

3    Cracks in the Foundation

Part II  The Diagnosis

4    The Diversity of Innovation

5    The Industry-Specific Nature of the Patent System

6    Heterogeneity in Patent Theory: Why We Can’t Agree Why We Patent

7    Parts of the Elephant: How Industry Perspective Drives Patent Theory

Part III The Solution

8    Why Courts and Not Congress Offer a Way Out of the Crisis

9    Policy Levers in Existing Patent Cases

10  More We Can Do: Potential New Policy Levers

11  Levers in a Specific Industry--Biotechnology

12  Levers at Work--the IT Industry

Conclusion: New Directions



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