The Inducement Standard of Patentability

91 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2010 Last revised: 8 Jan 2015

See all articles by Michael Abramowicz

Michael Abramowicz

George Washington University Law School

John F. Duffy

University of Virginia School of Law

Date Written: October 19, 2010


In Graham v. John Deere, the Supreme Court explained that patent law’s nonobviousness doctrine is meant to restrict the award of patents only to “those inventions which would not be disclosed or devised but for the inducement of a patent.” This Article argues that this inducement standard, largely ignored in practice, should serve as the doctrinal polestar. Such an approach would provide a solid economic foundation for the patentability standard and would align patent law with the many other fields of regulatory law that currently apply economic analysis in determining the scope and content of regulation. The Article also offers several refinements to the inducement standard and explains how the patent office and courts could implement the inducement standard in an administrable way.

Keywords: patent nonobviousness

Suggested Citation

Abramowicz, Michael and Duffy, John Fitzgerald, The Inducement Standard of Patentability (October 19, 2010). Yale Law Journal, Vol. 120, 2010, Available at SSRN:

Michael Abramowicz (Contact Author)

George Washington University Law School ( email )

2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
United States

John Fitzgerald Duffy

University of Virginia School of Law ( email )

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States
434-243-8544 (Phone)


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