13 Colum. Sci. & Tech. L. Rev. 1 (2011-2012)

handle is hein.journals/cstlr13 and id is 1 raw text is: ´╗┐DISPELLING THE MYTH OF PATENTS

THE COLUMBIA
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
LAW REVIEW
VOL. XIII                    STLR.ORG                     FALL 2011
ARTICLE
DISPELLING THE MYTH OF PATENTS AS NON-
RIVALROUS PROPERTY: PATENTS AS TOOLS FOR
ALLOCATING SCARCE LABOR AND RESOURCEST
Richard S. Gruner'
The view of patents as non-rivalrous property i fundamentally
flawed in a key respect that has been largely overlooked in the legal lit-
erature. Past scholarship has focused on downstream rivalry regarding
the use of patented ideas, while neglecting upstream rivalry regarding
the inputs to those ideas in many modern research settings, i.e., the
efforts of inventors and the substantial research resources that support
them.
By reexamining the impacts of patents on allocations of scarce
resources, this Article helps to clarify two important roles of patents in
modern, laige-budget innovation: First, patent-influenced rewards help
to attract scarce resources to innovation projects that would otherwise be
devoted to alternative ends. Second, patent-influenced rewards provide
prioritizing information to persons allocating scarce resources, estab-
lishing a basis to compare the relative value of commitments of
resources among innovation protects.
As innovation projects assume ever larger and more central func-
tions in the United States economy, patents in the areas addressed by
this Article will only increase in importance. The function of patents
in influencing the allocation of resources to invention production has
received remarkably little attention in law review analyses to date.
This Article aims to rectif this imbalance and highlight the important
t This   Article  may    be   cited  as   http://www.stlr.org/cite.cgi?
volume= 13&article= 1. This work is made available under the Creative Com-
mons Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.
1. Professor of Law; Director, Center for Intellectual Property Law, John
Marshall Law School. The author would like to thank Joshua D. Sarnoff and
David L. Schwartz for thoughtful comments on earlier drafts of this Article and
Erin M. McKibben for research assistance in connection with this Article.

2011]

1

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