The Patent System at a Crossroads

Regulation, Vol. 41, No. 1, Spring 2018

USC CLASS Research Papers Series CLASS18-6

USC Legal Studies Research Papers Series 18-6

5 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2018 Last revised: 3 Apr 2018

Date Written: March 29, 2018

Abstract

Judicial decisions, agency actions and legislative enactments have promoted a creeping reversion toward the weak patent regime that prevailed for several decades preceding the establishment of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The pending Supreme Court case, Oil States Energy Services v. Greene’s Energy Group, provides an opportunity to reflect upon the choice between a “property rights” vision of the patent system in which resource allocation is principally directed by market signals and an administrative vision of the patent system in which resource allocation is perpetually subject to adjustment by courts and regulators. A growing body of empirical research raises doubts concerning the social costs that have been attributed to a robustly enforced patent system and, by implication, poses a challenge to policy actions that have targeted property-like attributes of that system.

Keywords: patents, Oil States v. Greene's Energy

JEL Classification: O34, K2

Suggested Citation

Barnett, Jonathan, The Patent System at a Crossroads (March 29, 2018). Regulation, Vol. 41, No. 1, Spring 2018; USC Legal Studies Research Papers Series 18-6. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3147181

Jonathan Barnett (Contact Author)

USC Gould School of Law ( email )

699 Exposition Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

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