Chapter

Cracks in the Foundation

in The Patent Crisis and How the Courts Can Solve It

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780226080611
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226080635 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226080635.003.0003
Cracks in the Foundation

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This chapter investigates the overwhelming evidence that innovation generally, and the relationship of patents to innovation in particular, differ by industry. It specifically tells the story (or perhaps more accurately, a story) of how the patent system found itself in crisis. The overburdened Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) is one of the consequences of the patent flood. The flood of patents has been accompanied by a flood of patent lawsuits. Patent claims are meant to define the scope of an invention. The problem of patent holdup will remain as long as courts refuse to apportion damages so that they bear some relation to the value of the patented invention. The scope of the patents is generally quite clear, as they are defined in terms of chemical structure, and disputes over what the patent means are less common than in information technology.

Keywords: innovation; patents; patent system; Patent and Trademark Office; patent flood; patent lawsuits; information technology

Chapter.  5641 words. 

Subjects: Intellectual Property Law

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