Megan M. La Belle, J.D.
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• Intellectual Property Law
• Patent Law
• Civil Procedure
• Federal Courts/Federal Jurisdiction
School: Columbus School of Law
La Belle challenges the conventional wisdom that patent litigation is private law litigation, and argues that patent litigation is more properly treated as public law litigation. The article aims to show that the primary normative goal of the patent system, as contemplated by the constitution itself, is to benefit the public by “promot[ing] the progress of science and useful arts.”
Gene patents have generated a wide range of legal and policy questions, including whether human genes should be patentable, and whether such patents stimulate or stifle innovation. This Essay explores the question of standing in the case: “Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics” and concludes by underscoring the importance of declaratory judgment actions to our patent system.
There is consensus that our patent system currently faces a crisis of confidence as a result of the proliferation of bad patents. This article presents why so few declaratory judgment actions are filed, then critically examines and rejects various possible justifications for that doctrine, and concludes with a proposal that would ultimately provide more of the public good of invalidating bad patents.
Associate at Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP; Law Clerk to the Honorable Stephen S. Trott, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; Law Clerk to the Honorable Margaret M. Morrow, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.