This study explores the ramifications of the influence of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) on the doctrinal stability and certainty of the patent law, and provides evidence that patentees (and their intellectual property counsel) have read the signals and responded by using the courts to enforce the patent rights. Whether the CAFCUs bolstering the value of patents has in turn led to greater patenting activity remains largely unanswered, although the motivations are clear. Patenting is an expensive activity for inventors and their assignees, and, unless the courts are going to recognize and enforce patent rights, maintaining technological advances as trade secrets (when possible) may be a better alternative.
Originally published in: Journal of the Patent and Trademark Office Society, v. 76, no. 8, August 1994, pp. 579-590.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Reprint series. The Reprint was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.