This month we highlight two scholarly articles related to the Federal Circuit.
In her article, Professor Christa Laser uses quantitative data to assess the increase of patent cases on the Supreme Court’s docket over the past decade. Her statistical analysis confirms some previous hypothesis regarding the issue—for example “amicus support play[ing] an outsized role in patent cases.” In contrast, her evidence contradicted some previous views, such as “familiar names of top Supreme Court advocates spurring certiorari in patents cases.” Importantly, her research “suggests that the narrative of the Federal Circuit as applying rigid rules rather than flexible standards urged by the Supreme Court is pervasive at the Court.” In conclusion, Professor Laser contends that the Supreme court should consider another factor when deciding to grant certiorari in patent cases: “whether a decision in the case will support or undermine the stability and certainty of patent law.”
In his forthcoming article, Professor Daryl Lim explores the recent revitalization of the Doctrine of Equivalents using empirical data. Lim contends that the “doctrine has transitioned from cases involving primarily mechanical inventions to those in the ‘new economy’ – drugs and medical devices, as well as computer and communications-related inventions.” His article further explores how the Federal Circuit is currently shaping the doctrine. Specifically, Lim’s empirical analysis of ninety-six Federal Circuit cases provides insight into the court’s application of the doctrine over time.