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Chapter of Book

Publication Date



This contribution to the Research Handbook on Economics of Intellectual Property Rights (Vol. 1 Theory) addresses interactions between the principal legal institutions of the U.S. patent system. It considers legal, strategic, and normative perspectives on these interactions as they have evolved over the last 35 years. Early centralization of power by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, newly created in 1982, established a regime dominated by the appellate court's bright-line rules. More recently, aggressive Supreme Court and Congressional intervention have respectively reinvigorated patent law standards and led to significant devolution of power to inferior tribunals, including newly created tribunals like the USPTO's Patent Trial and Appeals Board. This new era in institutional interaction creates a host of fresh empirical and normative research questions for scholars. The contribution concludes by outlining a research agenda.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Patent laws and legislation, Patents