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Patent Law: A Primer and Overview of Emerging Issues

CRS report via FAS – Patent Law: A Primer and Overview of Emerging Issues, September 21, 2017
“In an increase over prior terms, the Supreme Court of the United States issued six opinions involving patent law during its October 2016 Term. These decisions addressed issues ranging from patent exhaustion, multi component products, and bio similar patents to procedural issues like venue and the statute of limitations for infringement claims. The growing number of Supreme Court opinions involving patent law over the past decade may also speak to the rising importance of intellectual property more broadly; a reportedc84% of the S&P 500 Market Value in 2015 is ascribed to intangible assets. With this increased attention on patent law, an understanding of patent law and the cases issued during the High Court’s recently concluded term will likely be of interest to Congress. The patent law regime in the United States is grounded in the U.S. Constitution itself; article I, section 8, clause 8 of the Constitution provides: “The Congress Shall Have Power… To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to… Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective… Discoveries.” Nonetheless, the rights associated with patents do not arise automatically. Rather, to obtain patent protection, the Patent Act of 1952 requires inventors to apply with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).”

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