Patent Misuse and Antitrust Law
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Patent Misuse and Antitrust Law

Empirical, Doctrinal and Policy Perspectives

Daryl Lim

This unique book provides a comprehensive account of the patent misuse doctrine and its relationship with antitrust law. Created to remedy and discourage misconduct by patent owners a century ago, its proper role today is debated more than ever before. Innovation and competition take place in increasingly complex environments that demand a clear understanding of where illegality ends and legitimate corporate strategy begins.
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Chapter 2: A brief history of patent misuse

Empirical, Doctrinal and Policy Perspectives

Daryl Lim


The history of patent misuse in America spans nearly a century. While its past is rooted in patent law, its present is intertwined with anti-trust law. The passage of time usually helps define the contours of a doctrine, but not so with misuse. While the formulaic statement for misuse at each point in its history may have been tolerably clear, its application has been muddied both by the shifting views of patents and the policies underlying both the patent and anti-trust laws. Hence, it is perhaps the best known but least understood defense in patent law. Some say that the modern doctrine of patent misuse began with Morton Salt v. G.S. Suppiger Co., a 1942 Supreme Court decision. Justice Harlan Fiske Stone, writing for a unanimous court, invoked the Court’s equitable powers to prevent a violation of patent policy through the improper expansion of patent grant.

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