Vol 1: Theory Vol 2: Analytical Methods
Edited by Ben Depoorter, Peter Menell and David Schwartz
Chapter 17: Patent institutions: shifting interactions between legal actors
This chapter covers research on interactions between institutional actors responsible for the development and implementation of US patent law. Over the last decade, arguments in favor of greater devolution of decisional authority from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the district courts have achieved some traction. However, this devolution has not necessarily been accompanied by fortification of the expertise and resources for conducting the complex fact-finding often involved in patent cases. Moreover, where devolution has been accompanied by fortification, such as through the creation of the USPTO Patent Trial and Appeals Board (PTAB), the results have been controversial. Meanwhile, many questions persist regarding whether current interactions between patent institutions are creating either appropriate results in individual cases or appropriate policy for the system as a whole. Perhaps as a consequence, the Supreme Court continues its active supervision of institutional interactions.
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