Most conceptions of patent law envision a system of rules that seek to balance private rights against public interests that include promoting innovation, removing impediments to competition, and making new and useful information broadly available. Here, we review recent insights into two patent doctrines that are deeply infused with this tension: inequitable conduct and patent misuse.
Lee Petherbridge and Jason Rantanen
Although the action for infringement is at the heart of the incentive structure established by the patent laws, research concerning it is remarkably incomplete. Many studies focus on the counting of litigation outcomes. As a consequence, much existing work shines limited light on basic theoretical and doctrinal questions surrounding the action for infringement. Nevertheless, there is a perceptible trend in more recent studies toward relating outcomes to case and other real-world variables. This development offers an added a level of descriptive granularity to observations, and such approaches may in time come to support greater theoretical evaluation of patent law and policy. At a minimum these newer observations help to suggest areas for future work that legal scholars may find worth pursuing. Here, we review the teachings of existing studies that address patent infringement, and offer some thoughts about areas suitable for future research