Patent Reform in the United States: Lessons Learned

7 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2013 Last revised: 9 Jan 2013

See all articles by Dan L. Burk

Dan L. Burk

University of California, Irvine School of Law

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 4, 2013


In previous work with Mark Lemley I have discussed the critical role played by the courts in fitting patent law to the ongoing needs of innovation. Careful scrutiny of the recently enacted America Invents Act (AIA), which legislatively reforms American patent law, underscores the need for robust judicial involvement in fostering a healthy patent system. In many instances during the development of the AIA, an initially perceived need for legislative reform was superseded by ameliorative judicial action. In other instances, Congress addressed issues of patent doctrine and procedure that can and should only be addressed by legislative action. But in many respects, the AIA introduces into the statute new lacunae that the courts will now be called upon to resolve. Ironically, legislative reform of patent law has set the stage for decades of fresh judicial interpretation and gap-filling to rehabilitate a statute newly riddled with uncertainty.

Keywords: AIA, patent law, legislation, policy levers, America Invents Act, patent reform

JEL Classification: D71, D72, D73, D78, H41, H42, O31, O33, O34

Suggested Citation

Burk, Dan L., Patent Reform in the United States: Lessons Learned (January 4, 2013). Regulation, Vol. 35, No. 4, Winter 2012-2013; UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper, No. 2013-84. Available at SSRN:

Dan L. Burk (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

4500 Berkeley Place
Irvine, CA 92697-1000
United States
949-824-9325 (Phone)

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics