U.S. Supreme Court I.P. Cases, 1810-2019: Measuring & Mapping the Citation Networks

50 Pages Posted: 7 Jun 2019 Last revised: 29 Jun 2019

Date Written: June 27, 2019


Intellectual property law in the United States, though shaped by key statutes, has long been a common-law field to a great degree. Many decades of decisional law flesh out the meaning of broad-textured, sparely worded statutes. Given the key roles of patent law and copyright law, both federal, the Supreme Court of the United States is i.p. law’s leading apex court. What are the major topical currents in the Supreme Court’s i.p. cases, both now and over the course of the Court’s work? This study uses network-analysis tools to measure and map the entirety of the Court’s i.p. jurisprudence. It goes deeper than existing studies of judicial citation networks by focusing on a topically defined subnetwork. It goes further than existing studies by analyzing, in addition to basic citation networks, a time series of co-citation networks—using techniques developed within bibliometrics, for mapping a scholarly field’s conceptual terrain, to track and describe doctrinal change. Emerging bottom up from the Court’s citations, the co-citation map charted here reveals, surprisingly, a core of antitrust and patent-misuse cases from the 1920s-1940s exerting significant influence on i.p. doctrine.

Keywords: network analysis, citation network, co-citation

Suggested Citation

Miller, Joseph Scott, U.S. Supreme Court I.P. Cases, 1810-2019: Measuring & Mapping the Citation Networks (June 27, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3398391 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3398391

Joseph Scott Miller (Contact Author)

University of Georgia School of Law ( email )

225 Herty Drive
Athens, GA 30602
United States
706-542-5191 (Phone)
706-542-5556 (Fax)

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