Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2016


Patents, Patent theory


Intellectual Property Law


The current reward framing for the patent system has resisted all attempts to either confirm or to refute the benefits of the system. Yet that should not surprise us. We should be surprised that we ever thought that the system could be justified at all. The reward framing has infected the patent system with pathological defects that make the system both unjustifiable and unfalsifiable. An alternate framing that focuses on ex ante technology transfer can support and explain many of the doctrinal features of the current patent system, but it can do so while avoiding the pathologies that plague today's patent theory.