84 B.U. L. Rev. 63 (2004)
Ending Abuse of Patent Continuations

handle is hein.journals/bulr84 and id is 75 raw text is: ENDING ABUSE OF PATENT CONTINUATIONS
MARK A. LEMLEY*
KIMBERLY A. MOORE**
INTRODUCTION    .............................................................................................  64
I. THE CURIOUS PRACTICE OF CONTINUING PATENT APPLICATIONS ....... 66
A .  How  the System  Works  ............................................................... 66
B. The Use of Continuation Practice .............................................. 69
II. THE PROBLEMS WITH CONTINUATION APPLICATIONS ...................... 71
A. Problems Created By Continuations .......................................... 71
1.  Delay  and  Uncertainty  ........................................................  71
2. Wearing Down the Examiner .............................................. 74
3.  Changing  Claim s .................................................................  76
4.  Subm  arine  Patents ..............................................................  79
5.  Evergreening  .....................................................................   81
B. Attempts to Combat the Problems Created By Continuations ....... 83
1.  Changing  the Patent Term  ...................................................  84
2. Publishing Patent Applications ............................................ 88
3. Increased Use of the Written Description Requirement .......... 90
4. New Prosecution Laches Defense ....................................... 92
III. ELIMINATING CONTINUATION APPLICATIONS ................................... 93
A. Justifications for Continuation Applications ................................. 94
B .  Scope  of  the  A bolition  .................................................................. 101
C .  A lternatives  to  Abolition  .............................................................. 105
1. Limiting the Number of Continuations ................................. 106
2. Preventing Broadening of Claims During Continuation
A pplications ...........................................................................  107
3.  Publishing  A pplications ......................................................... 108
4.  Creating  Intervening  Rights .................................................. 109
Elizabeth Josslyn Boalt Professor of Law, University of California at Berkeley (Boalt
Hall); of counsel, Keker & Van Nest LLP.
Associate Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law. I am grateful
to the George Mason University Law and Economics Center for its continued support.
We are indebted to the following firms who generously sponsored this research: Banner
& Witcoff, Howrey Simon Arnold & White, Kenyon & Kenyon, and Morgan, Lewis &
Bockius. Thanks are also due to John Allison, Bob Barr, Becky Eisenberg, Stuart Graham,
Rose Hagan, Scott Kieff, Matthew J. Moore, Craig Nard, David O'Brien, Jay Thomas, Hans
Troesch, Shashank Upadhye, Harold Wegner, John Whealan, John Witherspoon and
participants at a conference at Harvard Law School and a workshop at Stanford Law School
for helpful discussions of topics treated in this paper, Jim Hirabayashi at the PTO for
assistance in compiling the data, and R. Derek Trunkey for statistical assistance.
63

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