The Supreme Court has a love affair with the dictionary. Half of its decisions in the 2018 term cited a dictionary, often as the primary or exclusive means of defining a term in the statute. The Court’s obsession with dictionaries as the arbiter of statutory meaning is a recent phenomenon. A review of cases from 50 or 100 years ago reveals no such focus. The Court’s increased use of dictionaries may stem from the idea – very much in vogue today in some quarters – that courts are not to make law but simply “call balls and strikes.”
One of the truly remarkable phenomena in the history of both patent law and administrative law is the five-decade dispute between the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) vs. the Federal Circuit on the definition of “printed matter.” This article discusses the long-standing conflict between the Board and Federal Circuit. Is there a systemic problem in the USPTO’s legal apparatus? What corrective actions could be taken?
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IP Literature Watch: April 2022
Among the pieces featured in this month’s IP Literature Watch are a paper on how technology transfer is used to influence product market behavior, market...