Administrating Patent Litigation

65 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2014 Last revised: 14 May 2015

See all articles by Jacob S. Sherkow

Jacob S. Sherkow

University of Illinois College of Law; Carle Illinois College of Medicine; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - European Union Center; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology

Date Written: April 13, 2015


Recent patent litigation reform efforts have focused on every branch of government — Congress, the President, and the federal courts — save the fourth: administrative agencies. Agencies, however, possess a variety of functions in patent litigation: they serve as “gatekeepers” to litigation in federal court; they provide scientific and technical expertise to patent disputes; they review patent litigation to fulfill their own mandates; and they serve, in several instances, as entirely alternative fora to federal litigation. Understanding administrative agencies’ functions in managing or directing, i.e., “administrating,” patent litigation sheds both descriptive and normative insight on several aspects of patent reform. These include several problems inherent in patent litigation, generally, and ways of fixing them that focus less on the identities or characteristics of litigants and more on agencies’ (and courts’) institutional incentives. This Article synoptically describes the functions of administrative agencies in patent litigation, elucidates several problems with agencies’ operation of those functions, and provides several cheap, easy, and politically viable solutions to better administrating patent litigation.

Keywords: patent, admin, administrative, agencies, litigation, FTC, FCC, FDA, PTO

JEL Classification: O3, O34, K1, K11, K21, K23, K41, D73

Suggested Citation

Sherkow, Jacob S., Administrating Patent Litigation (April 13, 2015). Washington Law Review, Vol. 90, p. 205, 2015, NYLS Legal Studies Research Paper No. 13/14 #84, Available at SSRN:

Jacob S. Sherkow (Contact Author)

University of Illinois College of Law ( email )

504 E. Pennsylvania Avenue
Champaign, IL 61820
United States

Carle Illinois College of Medicine ( email )

506 S Mathews Ave
Urbana, IL 61801
United States

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - European Union Center ( email )

Coble Hall
801 S Wright St
Champaign, IL 61820

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology ( email )

Urbana, IL
United States

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