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Unpublished Paper
Who's Your Daddy?: A Psychoanalytic Exegesis of the Supreme Court's Recent Patent Jurisprudence
ExpressO (2008)
  • Gretchen S. Sween
ABSTRACT Who’s Your Daddy?: A Psychoanalytic Exegesis of the Supreme Court’s Recent Patent Jurisprudence Gretchen S. Sween, Ph.D., J.D. Dechert LLP 300 W. 6th Street Suite 1850 Austin, TX 78701 Since a new administration took office in 2001, the Supreme Court has granted certiorari in, and then decided, twelve patent cases in six years. Even more extraordinary is the Supreme Court’s remarkable consistency during this recent incursion into patent law: it has either reversed, vacated, and/or remanded Federal Circuit decisions in each instance in opinions that have been unanimous or nearly unanimous. Moreover, the Supreme Court’s rhetoric in formulating its patent decisions has become increasingly disdainful of the Federal Circuit, a specialized court toward which the Supreme Court had historically been quite deferential. This article identifies a clear trend in the High Court’s recent patent jurisprudence: a return to broad general principles while rejecting nuances developed by the Federal Circuit over the last fifteen years. Then, borrowing a little from psychoanalytic theory, this article considers why the Supreme Court has become so keen on showing this specialized court who is boss—beginning with Festo Corp. v. Shoketsu Kinzoku Kogyo Kabushiki Co., Ltd., decided on May 28, 2002, and culminating, for now, in Quanta v. LG Electronics, which was decided on June 9, 2008. Finally, this article suggests why the Court’s consistency may not be such a virtue.
Publication Date
December 1, 2008
Citation Information
Gretchen S. Sween. "Who's Your Daddy?: A Psychoanalytic Exegesis of the Supreme Court's Recent Patent Jurisprudence" ExpressO (2008)
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