8 Hastings Race & Poverty L.J. [i] (2011)

handle is hein.journals/hasrapo8 and id is 1 raw text is: Table of Contents

NOTES
THE INTERSECTION OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND RACE IN
THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY: AN EXAMINATION OF THE
INTERPRETATION OF RACIAL CATEGORIES IN PATENT LAW
By Tiffany Cruz Gonzalez    .......... ...........1
The political and jurisprudential treatment of race-
specific patents, patents on inventions that are aimed at
certain racially or ethnically defined groups, in the
United States has the potential to legitimize the
reification of race and severely impact society's
understanding of racial disparities. Accordingly, with
the increase in race-specific patents, and race-based
technology in general, the way that the courts will
construe racial categories in claim terms will determine
the pattern and practice of future race relations in the
United States. This note examines the role of a judge
and an inventor in the potential litigation of a race-
specific patent both of whom are in a position to define
what we, as a society, understand as race. If judges
construe racialized claim terms as a genetic category or
as an inherited trait then members of our society will no
longer  understand  racial disparity  -  such  as
unemployment rate, educational achievement gap, and
the disproportionate representation in the criminal
justice system - as a result of a long history of
discrimination and injustice. This note, therefore, is not
at issue with the commodification of race or the
discriminatory implications of the actual granting of
exclusive rights to inventors of race-specific patents.
Rather, this note finds issue with the impact of the
court's construction of racialized claim terms as genetic
categories on the future pattern and practice of this
society and offers judges a new method of
interpretation, intersectionality.

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