All posts by Mark A. Lemley

The Surprising Resilience of the Patent System

By | TLR Vol. 95-1 | No Comments
Mark Lemley states that the patent system “seems in the midst of truly dramatic change.” Despite this, Lemley finds that “something curious has happened to the fundamental characteristics of the patent ecosystem during this period: very little.” Lemley explores this surprising result, first by reviewing the changes to the patent system in the past thirty-five years, discussing the pendulum swings between perceived overprotection and perceived underprotection and the concerns lawyers have raised in both directions, and presenting evidence of the resilience of the patent system, before offering some possible explanations for this disconnect.

Read More

Does “Public Use” Mean the Same Thing It Did Last Year?

By | TLR Vol. 93-5 | No Comments

The America Invents Act (AIA) brought significant change to America’s patent system by moving from a “first to invent” to a “first to file” system. Some commentators have argued that the AIA also redefined the meaning of “public use” such that secret commercial uses by the inventor are no longer considered prior art. Professor Lemley contends that this assertion is unfounded as a matter of statutory interpretation. Furthermore, Lemley argues that reading the AIA in this way would be an unwise policy decision. Read More

All posts by Mark A. Lemley

The Surprising Resilience of the Patent System

By | TLR Vol. 95-1 | No Comments
Mark Lemley states that the patent system “seems in the midst of truly dramatic change.” Despite this, Lemley finds that “something curious has happened to the fundamental characteristics of the patent ecosystem during this period: very little.” Lemley explores this surprising result, first by reviewing the changes to the patent system in the past thirty-five years, discussing the pendulum swings between perceived overprotection and perceived underprotection and the concerns lawyers have raised in both directions, and presenting evidence of the resilience of the patent system, before offering some possible explanations for this disconnect.

Read More

Does “Public Use” Mean the Same Thing It Did Last Year?

By | TLR Vol. 93-5 | No Comments

The America Invents Act (AIA) brought significant change to America’s patent system by moving from a “first to invent” to a “first to file” system. Some commentators have argued that the AIA also redefined the meaning of “public use” such that secret commercial uses by the inventor are no longer considered prior art. Professor Lemley contends that this assertion is unfounded as a matter of statutory interpretation. Furthermore, Lemley argues that reading the AIA in this way would be an unwise policy decision. Read More