Vol.13 Issue 2 (2017)

It’s All About Principle: How Patent Trolling, Over Broad Patents, Evergreening, And Patent Shelving Represent A Departure From The Patent Clause And How To Return To The Principle Of The Patent Clause

Morgan L. Stringer

This article explores differing patent abuses that reflect how current patent law has swung drastically away from the Patent Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The purpose of the Patent Clause is to ensure that inventors are given a limited monopoly in order to encourage innovation, or to “progress the useful arts and sciences.” There are many forms of patent abuse, but this article will explore patent trolls, overbroad patents, evergreening, and patent shelving as forms of patent abuse that reflect a departure from the Constitutional principle of progress in patent law. Each of these patent abuses hinders progress, so according to the Patent Clause, Congress has the power to correct these abuses and must return to this Constitutional principle of progress. In addition, the Court must answer inconsistent or unanswered questions, where Congress has failed to do so. All of these patent abuses are related to one another, so solving one of these patent abuses will help prevent another patent abuse discussed. Furthermore, this article also proposes various solutions to decrease and prevent patent trolling, overbroad patents, evergreening, and patent shelving.

Author

Morgan L. Stringer, Staff Editor, Mississippi Law Journal; J.D. Candidate 2018, University of Mississippi School of Law.