As statutory schemes go, the patent statute has been relatively stable from 1952 to the present. In contrast to copyright law, where Congress has taken a close – indeed at times intense – interest in the details of the statutory scheme, legislative intervention into the patent statute, when it has occurred, has been more limited and narrower in scope. For many reasons, however, patent law has been disequilibrating over time, and calls for patent reform have been increasing in intensity. One of the many factors contributing to this disequilibration in recent years has been the ongoing emergence of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) as a more robust institutional player actively seeking to influence patent policy. The more prominent role played by the PTO is both a cause and an effect of dissatisfaction with the state of patent law.
Intellectual Property Law | Law
The PTO and the Market for Influence in Patent Law,
U. Pa. L. Rev.
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