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Prof. Christopher Seaman co-authors amicus curiae brief

December 22, 2015 Leave a comment
Prof. Christopher Seaman

Prof. Christopher Seaman

Washington and Lee law professor Christopher Seaman has recently co-authored an amicus curiae brief (with Professor Jason Rantanen of the University of Iowa College of Law).  The brief was filed at the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of several intellectual property law professors last week in two cases:  No. 14-1513, Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc., and No. 14-1520, Stryker Corp. v. Zimmer, Inc. The issue in both cases is the standard for awarding enhanced (increased) damages for patent infringement under 35 U.S.C. § 284.

Download the brief here.

Professor Seaman has written about this issue in a previously published piece titled, Willful Patent Infringement and Enhanced Damages After In re Seagate: An Empirical Study, 97 Iowa L. Rev. 417 (2012),

Download Professor Seaman’s article here

Prof. Christopher Seaman Co-Authors Letter to Congress Opposing the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2015

November 30, 2015 Leave a comment
Prof. Christopher Seaman

Prof. Christopher Seaman

Washington and Lee law professor Christopher Seaman has co-authored (with Professors Eric Goldman, David Levine, and Sharon Sandeen) a letter to Congress signed by 42 IP law professors opposing the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2015.  The Act would create a new civil cause of action for trade secret misappropriation under federal law.  This letter builds on Professor Seaman’s critiques of similar legislation introduced in the previous Congress and published in the Virginia Law Review earlier this year.


A blog post written by co-author David Levine introducing the letter may be read here:  http://infojustice.org/archives/35387

 

Prof. Christopher Seaman presents at Fourth Annual Patent Colloquium

November 29, 2015 Leave a comment
Prof. Christopher Seaman

Prof. Christopher Seaman

Washington and Lee law professor Christopher Seaman presented at the Fourth Annual Patent Colloquium on Friday, November 20, 2015.  The colloquium was hosted by the University Toronto, Faculty of Law.  Professor Seaman participated on a panel entitled “The Evolving Landscape of Patent Remedies” to discuss permanent injections and ongoing royalty awards in U.S. patent litigation after the Supreme Court’s decision in eBay v. MercExchange (2006).  The talk presented empirical research from Professor Seaman’s recent and forthcoming articles in the Texas Intellectual Property Law Journal and the Iowa Law Review.

Professor Seaman’s article in the Texas Intellectual Property Law Journal is titled “Ongoing Royalties in Patent Cases After eBay: An Empirical Assessment and Proposed Framework“.  It appeared in volume 23 of the journal in the spring 2015 issue.

Permanent Injunctions in Patent Litigation After eBay: An Empirical Study” will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Iowa Law Review. 

 

 

 

Prof. Christopher Seaman presents at Mid-Atlantic Patent Law Works-in-Progress

November 18, 2015 Leave a comment
Prof. Christopher Seaman

Prof. Christopher Seaman

Washington and Lee law professor Christopher Seaman recently presented his new work, entitled Collaboration and Patentability, at the 4th Annual Mid-Atlantic Patent Law Works-in-Progress (MAPWIP) program.  The event was held at American University Washington College of Law on Friday, November 13, 2015.

From the abstract:

Collaboration is a hallmark of modern innovation.  Patented inventions are now more likely to be the result of large-scale research projects in private industry or academia involving a multidisciplinary team of collaborators, rather than the lone tinkerer in a garage.  The rise of collaborative invention is due to several developments, including increased specialization within scientific disciplines, the prohibitive costs of independent research, and the ability for far-flung researchers to collaborate via the Internet.  Although patent law has evolved to facilitate collaborative invention in several important ways, it has lagged in recognizing the shift to team-based innovation in one important respect:  the concept of the so-called “person having ordinary skill in the art” (PHOSITA).  The PHOSITA plays an important role in determining several key requirements for patentability, including nonobviousness, enablement, and written description.  The PHOSITA also is central to determining the scope of a patent’s claims, which greatly influences both infringement and invalidity in patent litigation.  This Article contends that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the federal courts should account for the rise of collaborative invention by judging patentability from the perspective of a collaborative team, rather than a lone PHOSITA.  By doing so, patent law will utilize a more realistic framework for judging patentability, which may raise the bar for some requirements like nonobviousness, but lower them for others like enablement and written description.

 

 

Professor Seaman presents at Elon University School of Law

October 14, 2015 Leave a comment
Prof. Christopher Seaman

Prof. Christopher Seaman

Washington and Lee law professor Christopher Seaman recently presented his new work at a faculty workshop at Elon University School of Law in Greensboro, NC.  The faculty workshop was held on Tuesday, October 6, 2015.

Professor Seaman presented his new paper, Permanent Injunctions in Patent Litigation After eBay: An Empirical Study.  The paper is forthcoming in the Iowa Law Review.   

Download the full text of Professor Seaman’s article here. 

From the abstract:

The Supreme Court’s 2006 decision in eBay v. MercExchange is widely regarded as one of the most important patent law rulings of the past decade. Historically, patent holders who won on the merits in litigation nearly always obtained a permanent injunction against infringers. In eBay, the Court unanimously rejected this “general rule” that a prevailing patentee is entitled to an injunction, instead holding that lower courts must apply a four-factor test before granting such relief. Almost ten years later, however, significant questions remain regarding how this four-factor test is being applied, as there has there has been little rigorous empirical examination of eBay’s actual impact in patent litigation.

This Article helps fill this gap in the literature by reporting the results of an original empirical study of contested permanent injunction decisions in district courts for a 7½ year period following eBay. It finds that eBay has effectively created a bifurcated regime for patent remedies, where operating companies who compete against an infringer still obtain permanent injunctions in the vast majority of cases that are successfully litigated to judgment. In contrast, non-practicing entities almost always are denied injunctive relief. These findings are robust even after controlling for the field of patented technology and the particular court that decided the injunction request. It also finds that permanent injunction rates vary significantly based on patented technology and forum. Finally, this Article considers some implications of these findings for both participants in the patent system and policy makers.

Professor Christopher Seaman Speaks at Virginia State Bar

September 22, 2015 Leave a comment
Prof. Christopher Seaman

Prof. Christopher Seaman

On Friday, September 18, 2015 Washington and Lee law professor Christopher Seaman spoke to the Virginia State Bar’s Intellectual Property Section on proposed legislation to create a federal civil cause of action for trade secret misappropriation.  The presentation built on Professor Seaman’s article, The Case Against Federalizing Trade Secrecy, which was recently published in the April 2015 issue of the Virginia Law Review.  

Download the full text of Professor Seaman’s article here.  

From the abstract:

Trade secrecy is unique among the major intellectual property (IP) doctrines because it is governed primarily by state law. Recently, however, a number of influential actors — including legislators, academics, and organizations representing IP attorneys and owners — have proposed creating a private civil cause of action for trade secret misappropriation under federal law. Proponents assert that federalizing trade secrecy would provide numerous benefits, including substantive uniformity, the availability of a federal forum for misappropriation litigation, and the creation of a unified national regime governing IP rights.

This Article engages in the first systematic critique of the claim that federalizing trade secrecy is normatively desirable. Ultimately, it concludes that there are multiple reasons for trade secrecy to remain primarily the province of state law, including preservation of states’ ability to engage in limited experimentation regarding the scope of trade secret protection and federalization’s potential negative impact on the disclosure of patent-eligible inventions. Finally, it proposes an alternative approach — a modest expansion of federal courts’ jurisdiction over state law trade secret claims — that can help address the issue of trade secret theft without requiring outright federalization.

Professor Seaman’s New Paper Featured on SSRN and Top Legal Blogs

August 17, 2015 Leave a comment
Prof. Christopher Seaman

Prof. Christopher Seaman

Washington and Lee law professor Christopher Seaman’s new paper Permanent Injunctions in Patent Litigation After eBay: An Empirical Study, was recently posted on SSRN and is listed in numerous Top Ten lists of most downloaded new articles, including Intellectual Property Law, Innovation Law and Policy, Experimental and Empirical Studies, and Judgments and Remedies

The article was also recently featured in posts on Patently-O, an influential patent law blog, Written Description, Legal Theory Blog, Empirical Legal Studies Blog, and Comparative Patent Remedies Blog.

From the abstract:

The Supreme Court’s 2006 decision in eBay v. MercExchange is widely regarded as one of the most important patent law rulings of the past decade. Historically, patent holders who won on the merits in litigation nearly always obtained a permanent injunction against infringers. In eBay, the Court unanimously rejected this “general rule” that a prevailing patentee is entitled to an injunction, instead holding that lower courts must apply a four-factor test before granting such relief. Almost ten years later, however, significant questions remain regarding how this four-factor test is being applied, as there has there has been little rigorous empirical examination of eBay’s actual impact in patent litigation.

This Article helps fill this gap in the literature by reporting the results of an original empirical study of contested permanent injunction decisions in district courts for a 7½ year period following eBay. It finds that eBay has effectively created a bifurcated regime for patent remedies, where operating companies who compete against an infringer still obtain permanent injunctions in the vast majority of cases that are successfully litigated to judgment. In contrast, non-practicing entities almost always are denied injunctive relief. These findings are robust even after controlling for the field of patented technology and the particular court that decided the injunction request. It also finds that permanent injunction rates vary significantly based on patented technology and forum. Finally, this Article considers some implications of these findings for both participants in the patent system and policy makers.

 

 

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