Monday, December 23, 2013

Follow @PatentScholar for IP Updates During Light Blogging

Due to my current job, my blogging will continue to be light until July or August, when I will begin a permanent academic position. But I continue to Tweet as @PatentScholar about new IP papers posted to SSRN and other IP news (such as updates on Supreme Court patent cases, which are also tracked on this blog). Yale ISP Fellow Camilla Hrdy will also continue to blog here. If you are interested in guest posting, email me ( And stay posted for more information about the Yale ISP Innovation Law Beyond IP conference, which will involve blog posts from a terrific array of presenters. Happy holiday patents!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Sichelman & O'Connor: Can Patents Promote Competition?

In the standard modern account, patents, because they provide the opportunity for market power, "tend to dampen competition."  However, in their fascinating article, Patents As Promoters of Competition: The Guild Origins of Patent Law in the Venetian Republic, Ted Sichelman and Sean O'Connor argue that patents evolved in the Venetian Republic as a way for the government to recruit foreign artisans who otherwise could not effectively compete in trades dominated by the Venetian guilds, particularly in the wool and silk industries.