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So far Robert P. Merges has created 18 blog entries.

Updating Machlup: The (Still Uncertain) Case for Patents

Prof. Robert P. Merges, University of California at Berkeley School of Law August 10, 2015 Fritz Machlup famously said that if we did not have a patent system, there is not enough evidence to show we should create one.  But he also said that because we do have one, there is not enough evidence to [...]

By |2018-07-03T17:20:50-04:00August 10th, 2015|Intellectual Property Issues|Comments Off on Updating Machlup: The (Still Uncertain) Case for Patents

Is There a Fundamental Right to Intellectual Property?

Prof. Robert P. Merges, University of California at Berkeley School of Law March 27, 2015 For many in the field of intellectual property law (IP), my article title would be either a wry joke or the lead-in to one of the world’s shortest articles.  (Its full text would read: “No.”)  I, however, am going to [...]

By |2018-07-04T13:09:00-04:00March 27th, 2015|Intellectual Property Issues|Comments Off on Is There a Fundamental Right to Intellectual Property?

Looking Backward: Historical Patent Pools and Contemporary Policy

Prof. Robert P. Merges, University of California at Berkeley School of Law February 12, 2015 Patent pools have captured the attention of lawyers, economists, and historians for a long time.  For many, they represent a dangerous solution to the transaction costs associated with clearing and licensing many patents.  The danger arises because pools are formed [...]

By |2018-07-04T13:09:43-04:00February 12th, 2015|Intellectual Property Issues|Comments Off on Looking Backward: Historical Patent Pools and Contemporary Policy

Little Steps From Ground Zero: Software Patents After CLS Bank

Prof. Robert P. Merges, University of California at Berkeley School of Law October 27, 2014 Introduction The Software Freedom Law Center said that, in its opinion in CLS Bank v. Alice,1 the Supreme Court “took one more step towards the abolition of patents on software inventions.  Upholding its previous positions, the Court held that abstract [...]

By |2018-07-04T13:13:39-04:00October 27th, 2014|Intellectual Property Issues|Comments Off on Little Steps From Ground Zero: Software Patents After CLS Bank

Capturing the Future: Patent Claims and ‘After-Arising Technologies’

Prof. Robert P. Merges, University of California at Berkeley School of Law September 5, 2014 Introduction Exclusive rights for new technologies, in order to promote innovation: that’s what the patent system is supposed to be about.  And at least sometimes, even today, it still is.  At times, to promote innovation today patents may be interpreted [...]

By |2018-07-04T13:14:52-04:00September 5th, 2014|Intellectual Property Issues|Comments Off on Capturing the Future: Patent Claims and ‘After-Arising Technologies’

Go Ask Alice: What Can You Patent After Alice v. CLS Bank?

Prof. Robert P. Merges, University of California at Berkeley School of Law June 26, 2014 Those of us who sweat in the clammy gymnasia of patent law have been waiting – with a mix of excitement, dread, and cynical disregard – for the Alice v. CLS Bank decision.  The idea was, when the Supreme Court [...]

By |2018-05-02T17:34:07-04:00June 26th, 2014|Intellectual Property Issues|Comments Off on Go Ask Alice: What Can You Patent After Alice v. CLS Bank?

Patent Pooling and Competition: A Return to Transaction Cost Basics

Prof. Robert P. Merges, University of California at Berkeley School of Law April 16, 2014 Introduction There is an anomaly in the IP policy discourse these days.  There is great concern about excess litigation and litigation costs.  In addition, many are concerned with the sheer numbers of patents that must be licensed to sell products [...]

By |2018-07-04T13:31:35-04:00April 16th, 2014|Intellectual Property Issues|Comments Off on Patent Pooling and Competition: A Return to Transaction Cost Basics

Second Thoughts About Independent Invention: Searching for Kind Words About Absolute Liability in Patent Law

Prof. Robert P. Merges, University of California at Berkeley School of Law February 15, 2014 Under U.S. patent law, it is irrelevant whether an infringement defendant copied from the patentee or independently invented the patented invention.  Many commentators have decried this aspect of patent law.  The consensus is clear: Patent law needs an “independent invention” [...]

By |2018-07-03T17:51:48-04:00February 15th, 2014|Intellectual Property Issues|Comments Off on Second Thoughts About Independent Invention: Searching for Kind Words About Absolute Liability in Patent Law

What Can We Learn From IP’s ‘Negative Spaces’?

Prof. Robert P. Merges, University of California at Berkeley School of Law December 9, 2013 Introduction In recent years, intellectual property (IP) scholars have described a number of fascinating trades and pursuits where people get along quite well without the protection of formal, enforceable IP rights.  From French chefs1 to standup comics,2 and from fashion [...]

By |2018-07-04T13:36:11-04:00December 9th, 2013|Intellectual Property Issues|Comments Off on What Can We Learn From IP’s ‘Negative Spaces’?

Dolby Labs, Patent Trolls, and Optimal Patent Litigation

Prof. Robert P. Merges, University of California at Berkeley School of Law September 18, 2013 Two news items caught my eye in recent days, and I have been thinking about how they connect.  Ray Dolby, the great sound engineer and entrepreneur, died.1  And I saw the latest in a string of ominous-sounding reports on the [...]

By |2018-07-03T17:27:10-04:00September 18th, 2013|Intellectual Property Issues|Comments Off on Dolby Labs, Patent Trolls, and Optimal Patent Litigation