Patent Law and Policy: Cases and Materials

Intellectual Property and Patents

Article Snapshot


John Duffy and Robert Merges


4th ed. Newark, NJ: LexisNexis, 2007; Third ed. published in 2002


This book provides teaching material on the patent system.

Policy Relevance

Patent procedures and remedies have received increasing attention from legislators, scholars, and the Supreme Court in recent years.

Main Points

  • Patent law, particularly the area of patent office and litigation procedures and remedies, is currently the subject of many proposals for reforms. One key procedure is re-examination, in which someone can ask to have the patent office reject a patent.

  • Important concepts in patent law include patentable subject matter, whether an invention is novel, whether it is useful, whether it is obvious, and whether the patent sufficiently discloses the invention to the public.

  • Patents in the United States can be affected by patents and other activity in other nations, and courts have evolved rules to resolve these disputes.

  • Remedies for patent infringement include injunctions, awards of monetary damages, lost profits, and, sometimes, attorneys’ fees.

  • Trade secret law also intersects with patent law.

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