Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Creation without RestraintPromoting Liberty and Rivalry in Innovation$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Christina Bohannan and Herbert Hovenkamp

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199738830

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199738830.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 October 2021

Innovation, Competition, and the Patent System

Innovation, Competition, and the Patent System

(p.60) 4 Innovation, Competition, and the Patent System
Creation without Restraint

Christina Bohannan

Herbert Hovenkamp

Oxford University Press

This chapter gives a brief overview of the U.S. patent system and evaluates the problem of incentives and foreseeable harm. It also considers the severe limitations on any notion that antitrust law can repair defects in the patent system. In a well-designed patent system, an issued patent would tell the world precisely what the patentee invented. This invention would be sufficiently “nonobvious” that one would not expect large numbers of others to develop it on their own without copying. But the system tends to break down if the invention is not substantial, meaning that others are likely to have discovered it on their own; either the concept of the invention or its description are so abstract that the patent spills over into areas that the patentee really did not contemplate and for which the patent itself did not provide sufficient notice; or the patentee is permitted to have “afterthoughts,” or claims for the invention that were not in mind when the patent application was originally filed. The current patent system suffers from failures of all three types.

Keywords:   patent process, incentives, antitrust law, patents, inventions

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .