Sunday, January 11, 2015

Tex. L. Rev. Evidence-Based IP Symposium

The Texas Law Review, which has displayed impeccable taste in IP articles, focused its 2014 symposium issue on the topic "Steps Toward Evidence-Based IP." This symposium is part of a growing trend in evidenced-based IP, including numerous works that have been covered on this blog and various empirical IP initiatives sprouting up at law schools including Chicago-Kent, NYU, Northwestern, and Stanford. If you're interested in IP policy and haven't seen the Texas symposium issue, it is well worth a look. Here are the papers included:
John M. Golden, Robert P. Merges & Pamela Samuelson
Nice overview of the evolution of empirical IP scholarship, including citations to many articles in my classic patent scholarship project, as well as others that aren't but should be.

John R. Allison, Mark A. Lemley & David L. Schwartz
Detailed statistics on every substantive decision rendered by any court in every patent case filed in 2008 and 2009. They find that despite many changes, the overall patentee win rate (25%) and invalidity success rate (43%) are very similar to 20 years ago.

Robert G. Bone
Argues that "the optimal response to empirical uncertainty in the trade secret field is to abolish special legal protection for trade secrets rather than maintain the status quo."

Oren Bracha & Talha Syed
Evalutes the "product differentiation" theory of copyright (e.g., Chris Yoo's argument that access to copyrighted works is promoted by strengthening protection to stimulate entry of differentiated substitutes) and argues that it, "like the traditional incentive–access framework, shows that as IP protection becomes stronger it is more likely to result in negative net results."

Christopher Buccafusco, Zachary C. Burns, Jeanne C. Fromer & Christopher Jon Sprigman
Does the existence of a creativity threshold, which conditions entry into a prize lottery on meeting certain performance standards, affect how creative people are? Yes—in nuanced ways.

Christopher A. Cotropia & James Gibson
Examines dockets of over 900 copyright lawsuits filed from 2005 to 2008. Lots of interesting litigation statistics.

Shari Seidman Diamond & David J. Franklyn
Presents results of a survey of trademark lawyers about when and how they use surveys, as well as perceived limitations of survey methodology.

John M. Golden
Shows that "patents on relatively simple ornamental designs or mechanical technologies play a disproportionate role in" patent injunctions, contrary to perception of patent litigation typically involving high-tech, high-stakes disputes.

David A. Hyman & David J. Franklyn
Reports that "competitors account for a relatively small percentage of keyword purchases, and many trademark owners purchase their own marks as keywords." Concludes that "risk of widespread abuse is low" and objections more related to "free riding" than "zone of interests currently protected by U.S. trademark law." (See also my post on Bechtold & Tucker's empirical study on this topic.)

Ronald J. Mann
Three conclusions about examination based on detailed empirical study: (1) "from the first months of work, the output of examiners who will stay in the office the longest differs markedly from the output of examienrs whose stay in the office will be the shortest"; (2) "where the number of claims in a patent or the time spent in examination increases markedly with the experience of the examiner, both attributes decrease markedly with increasing tenure"; (3) JDs correlate with increased tenure, PhDs correlate with reduced tenure, and education also affects examiner output. (See also my post on Frakes & Wasserman on time-crunched patent examiners.)

Erin O’Hara O’Connor & Christopher R. Drahoz
Parties in innovative environments rely much more heavily on lawyers and contracts, and are increasingly demanding the right to go to court rather than arbitrate. "These contracts illustrate the weaknesses of self-help remedies and the relative shortcomings of arbitration in the context of innovation."

Dotan Oliar, Nathaniel Pattison & K. Ross Powell
Examines all 2.3 million copyright registrations from 2008 to 2012.

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