Notice and Patent Remedies

Herbert Hovenkamp

88 Texas L. Rev. See Also 221

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Prof. Hovenkamp evaluates Prof. Golden’s proposals in Principles for Patent Remedies, arguing for the addition of an additional principle: notice. The author writes, “remedies must be administered so as to encourage optimal and timely private disclosure as well as optimal, cost-justified private search.”

Like other property rights regimes, patent law should have an effective system for giving notice and for providing incentives to respond to notice once given. Analogizing to the real property system, Hovenkamp describes several important principles of notice systems. Such systems generally require collaboration by government officials and private-market participants. Moreover, the duty to provide or obtain notice ought to be placed on the party that can do so at the lowest cost. In line with this reasoning, Hovenkamp writes that when recording is cheaper than searching, the burden should be placed on the recorder. And where interests are not recorded, the owner’s duty to provide alternative kinds of notice is expanded.

With these principles of notice in hand, Hovenkamp turns to the patent-recording system. He finds that it is not nearly as reliable as the real property system. Although highly technical rules for drafting patent claims exist, the language of such claims lacks the clarity of deed descriptions. In addition, patent searches are not only more costly but highly unreliable.

Some of these problems are of course inherent to the patent system. But, aruges Hovenkamp, patent law should take a lesson from real property. Where the notice system breaks down, patent law should impose a duty upon owners to compensate by providing effective notice. In light of this, the author discusses the “late claim” feature of patent law, using the Rambus case as an example of its flaws and how to fix it. After addressing some other patent-damages issues related to notice, Hovenkamp concludes that as patents have come to resemble a kind of property rather than a monopoly—a good thing—it ought to be treated as such. The notice system of patent law, then, is “an essential policy lever that can aid a court in determining the remedy most consistent with the innovation-furthering goals of the patent system.”

Patent Remedies and Practical Reason

Thomas F. Cotter

88 Texas L. Rev. See Also 125

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In this Response, Professor Thomas Cotter compares his concept of “practical reason,” which emphasizes the need for choice, deliberation, and communication in the face of radical uncertainty and conflicting norms, with Golden’s five principles for patent remedies.  Cotter argues that the application of Golden’s principles would be grounded in a form of practical reason; both methodologies take a nondogmatic approach to making rational judgments under conditions of uncertainty.  But Cotter also offers two critiques of Golden: first, Golden sometimes seems to betray a Platonic longing for something more determinate than practical reason; and second, Cotter disagrees with Golden’s analysis on specific issues within the field of patent remedies.

The Voting Rights Act Through the Justices‘ Eyes: NAMUDNO and Beyond

Joshua A. Douglas

88 Texas L. Rev. See Also 1

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In this Essay, Douglas tells us that “[t]he most surprising action from the Supreme Court’s latest term may be what it did not do:  strike down Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act . . . as unconstitutional.” Douglas explores the Court’s recent decision in Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District Number One v. Holder (NAMUDNO), in which the Justices managed to avoid invalidating Congress’s reauthorization of the “preclearance” provision of the Voting Rights Act (which requires preapproval for changes to voting procedures in covered jurisdictions). This Essay explores the reasons behind the Court’s 8–1 opinion, which resolved the issue on narrow statutory grounds, and what the comments in dicta by various Justices may mean for future election law cases.

Douglas first discusses the Court’s statutory interpretation and constitutional avoidance approach in NAMUDNO.  He then explains how each current Justice generally views the Voting Rights Act (VRA) by analyzing their voting patterns in previous VRA cases.  He concludes that the Court’s recent approach in NAMUDNOand other election law cases reveals a trend toward “strategic compromise” among the Justices in this area. Over the past few years, Douglas argues, Justices on the Court have “compromised their usual positions in election law cases in favor of a strategic and incremental approach to effectuate their long-term goals (or ward off starker and less favorable results).”

This Essay includes an Appendix — a table of VRA cases and individual Justices’ voting records in them used by the author in his analysis, which may be useful to those seeking more in-depth information about the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence concerning the Voting Rights Act.

Making Adequacy More Adequate

David Marcus

88 Texas L. Rev. See Also 137

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In this piece, Professor Marcus proposes that Professor Tidmarsh’s adequacy metric would serve better as a standard than a rule.  Marcus praises the metric as a convincing and stimulating game-changer, but he also highlights a potential criticism: the adequacy requirement, foundational as it is, should not be reduced to any single test, even one as sensible as Tidmarsh’s.  To prove his point, Marcus examines two categories of cases, one for which a strict application of the “do no harm” test would preclude arguably desirable class litigation, and one for which his test would permit unattractive distributional inequities among class members.

The Power of Warm Glow

Usha Rodrigues

88 Texas L. Rev. See Also 149

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In this Response, Professor Rodrigues states that while she largely agrees Professor Galle’s argument that nonprofit charities cannot be reduced to their tax-exempt status, she disagrees with him on two points.  First, Rodrigues argues that Galle overstates the problem posed by for-profit firms offering charitable services.  Second, she insists that Galle understates the power of the “warm glow” in the nonprofit organization.

Comparative Originalism

David Fontana

88 Texas L. Rev. See Also 189

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In response to Prof. Greene’s article, Prof. Fontana discusses some complications of Prof. Greene’s arguments. Prof. Fontana argues that comparing the United States with Canada and Australia involves comparing quite different countries, because the Canadian and Australian constitutions reorganized preexisting institutions, whereas the United States had more of a nation-creating, revolutionary constitution. Other countries that arose out of more revolutionary events, such as certain post-colonial African and Latin American nations, have also tended to feature originalist arguments. Prof. Fontana argues that, when the nation predates the creation of a constitution, key cultural and political understandings also predate the constitution, thereby diminishing the importance of originalism.

The Challenges of Fiduciary Administration

Glen Staszewski

88 Texas L. Rev. See Also 155

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In his Response to Professor Criddle’s proposal of a fiduciary model of popular representation in administrative regulation, Professor Staszewski generally agrees with Criddle’s skepticism of the presidential-control model but identifies four challenges that scholars must overcome when developing alternative theories to the presidential-control model of administrative regulation.  First, he argues that scholars should account for the importance of elections.  Second, they should account for the proper role of political preferences.  Third, they must develop oversight mechanisms apart from judicial review that are not prohibitively expensive.  Finally, they should seek to reduce the fear of uncertainty accompanying the abandonment of the presidential-control model.

How Embattled Are U.S. CEOs?

Jens Dammann

88 Texas L. Rev. See Also 201

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In his Response to Professors Kahan and Rocks, Professor Damman cautions against blind acceptance of the proposition that corporate CEO’s are losing power vis-à-vis shareholders. First, he notes that questions of power are complex and difficult to measure. Second, he questions Kahan and Rock’s estimations of the impact of statutory and privately adopted rules. Finally, he critiques Kahan and Rock’s detection of a long-term trend in losses of power for executives.

The Functions of Ethical Originalism

Richard Primus

88 Texas L. Rev. See Also 79

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In his Response to Professor Greene’s Article, Professor Primus contends that the stakes of originalist argument can go well beyond any particular case in which originalist arguments are made. He identifies three functions of ethical-originalist argument that go beyond the realm of deciding particular cases. First, originalist argument can establish the content of American history as a value in itself. Second, it can help to legitimate the constitutional system by creating an affinity between the present generation and the generation of heroic constitution makers. And third, it can establish a particular speaker as the authoritative bearer of the American constitutional tradition, thus empowering him to arbitrate questions in the name of that tradition.

There‘s Still Hope: Life After Giles v. California

Cheryl Hanna

87 Texas L. Rev. See Also 79

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In this comment, Professor Hanna explains why she believes Professor Lininger’s article is so important: it develops a test for getting around the problem created by the Supreme Court for the prosecution of domestic violence murders.

The problem created in Giles is that prosecutors are required to prove that the defendant had the specific intent to silence his victim when he killed her, before allowing forfeiture of confrontation rights.  However, Professor Lininger’s article grabs onto language in the majority and concurring opinions suggesting that lower courts are permitted to infer that intent, and develops three per se rules for when it is appropriate.  She believes that since this test focuses on the broader context of domestic violence abuse, as opposed to focusing on just the moment the murder occurred, it should help prosecutions of domestic abusers.

She also focuses on the question of whether advocates for the victims of domestic abuse should emphasize the gender bias in these crimes, showing how the law treats women unfairly in this context, or whether they should de-emphasize it in order to win over the likes of Justice Scalia.  After discussing the issue, she concludes that trying to win over Justice Scalia is pointless because he is too committed to originalism in the Confrontation Clause context to be affected either way by the disparate impact this has on women.