Category Archives: TLR Vol. 95-1

The Surprising Resilience of the Patent System

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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.

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What Are Tax Havens and Why Are They Bad?

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In this book review, Conor Clarke consider’s Gabriel Zucman’s new book, The Hidden Wealth of Nations: The Scourge of Tax Havens. Clarke first summarizes and explains Zucman’s central findings for a legal audience, then situates those findings against the backdrop of two long-running debates in international taxation—what
is a tax haven, and why are they bad?—before finally commenting on the prescriptions Zucman offers for battling unreported wealth. Read More

Immigrant Neighbors, Workers, and Caregivers in Our Midst: What We Owe Each Other

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Michael Sullivan reviews David Miller’s new book—Strangers in Our Midst—which, as described by Sullivan, “seeks to balance citizen apprehensions about regulating, integrating, and potentially naturalizing millions of newcomers, while meeting international obligations and safeguarding the basic human rights of all migrants. Miller begins and concludes his account of immigration regulation, integration, and naturalization from what he describes as both a ‘communitarian’ and ‘social democratic’ perspective. As a communitarian, he disavows the idea that ‘a political philosopher could lay down’ a single immigration policy ‘as the just or correct policy for all the liberal democracies (let alone all societies) to pursue.’ He is adamant about the value of national identity grounded in the shared historical experiences of people with memories and obligations to one another that extend into the past, are remembered today, and extend into the future. As such, he challenges the notion that there is a universal prescription for how diverse nations should think about or regulate immigration and naturalization.

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Wind Energy’s Dirty Word: Decommissioning

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William Stripling’s note seeks to illustrate the general failure of current law to ensure decommissioning of America’s wind farms. He discusses the history and current landscape of domestic wind-energy generation, before focusing on the best practices in wind-farm decommissioning, aesthetic and environmental harms posed by abandoned wind farms, and the challenges and costs of removing wind turbines. He then surveys the state of current law regarding
decommissioning across U.S. jurisdictions, before finally discussing common pitfalls of current decommissioning law and suggesting how these pitfalls are best avoided.

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Arbitration Unbound: How the Yukos Oil Decision Yields Uncertainty for InternationalInvestment Arbitration

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Lena Serhan reviews a large dispute under the Energy Charter Treaty between an oil company and the Russian Federation, which resulted in the largest arbitration in history with $50 billion awarded to the oil company. However, Russia appealed the award to a Dutch district court, and in a surprising opinion, the court quashed the entire arbitration award, claiming that the tribunal lacked jurisdiction to decide the case despite the arbitration provision in the ECT. Serhan argues that the Dutch court’s opinion leads to poor policy in international law, will deter the effectiveness of international arbitration in multilateral treaties, and will chill future investments in energy—regardless of whether the Dutch court was influenced by Russian pressures—because investors cannot count on the protection that the arbitration provision usually provides.

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Category Archives: TLR Vol. 95-1

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

What Are Tax Havens and Why Are They Bad?

By | TLR Vol. 95-1 | No Comments
In this book review, Conor Clarke consider’s Gabriel Zucman’s new book, The Hidden Wealth of Nations: The Scourge of Tax Havens. Clarke first summarizes and explains Zucman’s central findings for a legal audience, then situates those findings against the backdrop of two long-running debates in international taxation—what
is a tax haven, and why are they bad?—before finally commenting on the prescriptions Zucman offers for battling unreported wealth. Read More

Immigrant Neighbors, Workers, and Caregivers in Our Midst: What We Owe Each Other

By | TLR Vol. 95-1 | No Comments
Michael Sullivan reviews David Miller’s new book—Strangers in Our Midst—which, as described by Sullivan, “seeks to balance citizen apprehensions about regulating, integrating, and potentially naturalizing millions of newcomers, while meeting international obligations and safeguarding the basic human rights of all migrants. Miller begins and concludes his account of immigration regulation, integration, and naturalization from what he describes as both a ‘communitarian’ and ‘social democratic’ perspective. As a communitarian, he disavows the idea that ‘a political philosopher could lay down’ a single immigration policy ‘as the just or correct policy for all the liberal democracies (let alone all societies) to pursue.’ He is adamant about the value of national identity grounded in the shared historical experiences of people with memories and obligations to one another that extend into the past, are remembered today, and extend into the future. As such, he challenges the notion that there is a universal prescription for how diverse nations should think about or regulate immigration and naturalization.

Read More

Wind Energy’s Dirty Word: Decommissioning

By | TLR Vol. 95-1 | No Comments
William Stripling’s note seeks to illustrate the general failure of current law to ensure decommissioning of America’s wind farms. He discusses the history and current landscape of domestic wind-energy generation, before focusing on the best practices in wind-farm decommissioning, aesthetic and environmental harms posed by abandoned wind farms, and the challenges and costs of removing wind turbines. He then surveys the state of current law regarding
decommissioning across U.S. jurisdictions, before finally discussing common pitfalls of current decommissioning law and suggesting how these pitfalls are best avoided.

Read More

Arbitration Unbound: How the Yukos Oil Decision Yields Uncertainty for InternationalInvestment Arbitration

By | TLR Vol. 95-1 | No Comments
Lena Serhan reviews a large dispute under the Energy Charter Treaty between an oil company and the Russian Federation, which resulted in the largest arbitration in history with $50 billion awarded to the oil company. However, Russia appealed the award to a Dutch district court, and in a surprising opinion, the court quashed the entire arbitration award, claiming that the tribunal lacked jurisdiction to decide the case despite the arbitration provision in the ECT. Serhan argues that the Dutch court’s opinion leads to poor policy in international law, will deter the effectiveness of international arbitration in multilateral treaties, and will chill future investments in energy—regardless of whether the Dutch court was influenced by Russian pressures—because investors cannot count on the protection that the arbitration provision usually provides.

Read More