In a post here a few months ago, I noted that a series of dissents in intellectual property cases over the past decade had established Justice Stephen Breyer “as one of the Supreme Court’s leading intellectual property law skeptics, along with now-retired Justice John Paul Stevens.”  “Not coincidentally,” I added, “Justices Breyer and Stevens were…

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In a post a while back, I quoted from Justice Stephen Breyer’s dissents in two important copyright cases of the past decade, Eldred v. Ashcroft (2003), which upheld the copyright term extensions adopted by Congress in the Sony Bono Memorial Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998, and Golan v. Holder (2012), which upheld an act…

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The over-arching economic problem that dogs all of American patent and copyright law is one of demarcation—when is the marginal utility of  an incentive provided to one innovator “to promote progress in science and the useful arts” outweighed by the burden it places on the creativity and economic freedom of everyone else and is therefore counterproductive?  In The…

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The epic Apple-Samsung patent dispute is now on trial and, justly, generating headlines in the popular press.  In particular, it has been widely reported that the Court  has prevented Samsung from introducing clips from Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 classic 2001: A Space Odyssey in which astronauts Frank Poole and Dave Bowman are looking at tablets that have an…

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For more than a generation, learned monographs have poured forth from constitutional theorists who bring insights from such diverse realms as literary criticism, philosophy, linguistics, and political economy to bear on the problem of finding consistent principles for deciding constitutional disputes.  In Rethinking Patent Law, Professor Robin Feldman of the University of California’s Hastings College of Law applies similar analytic tools to patent law. …

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No one sweated the small  details of consumer electronics design more than Steve Jobs.  Today’s ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in a patent dispute between Apple and Samsung, must have him throwing quite a fit, wherever he is. Apple accused Samsung’s smart phones of infringing patents (pictured) covering the…

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