New Law Review Article On The Relationship Between Patent Law And Antitrust Law
By: Jason Hicks
The Spring 2008 volume of the Virginia Journal of Law & Technology will contain an interesting article entitled Patent and Antitrust: Differing Shades of Meaning by Robin Feldman, Professor of Law at U.C. Hastings College of Law. The introductory paragraph asks: "Can a body of case law that grants monopoly opportunities be reconciled with a body of case law that curtails monopolization?" In her conclusion, Professor Feldman states:
The intersection of patent and antitrust has frustrated courts and scholars since the inception of antitrust law more than a century ago. The trend across time has been to try to harmonize the two, most recently in the direction of subsuming patent doctrines under antitrust doctrines. Harmonization in any direction, however, is far more challenging than it has appeared. Difficulties are enhanced by the fact that the two fields use concepts with similar terminology but with differing meanings, contexts, and implications. Understanding these different shades of meaning will be critical for navigating the intersection between patent and antitrust. Trying to slide blithely between the two without understanding the divergences could distort the essence of each.