This Article contends that, while the defense of inequitable conduct offers an avenue to combat fraudulent patent applications, the doctrine suffers from shortcomings that spring from two compromises. First, the amorphous nature of the equitable defense prompts institutional conflict between the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the Federal Circuit. Second, by relegating enforcement solely to a patentee's market competitors, the defense fails to protect the public interest adequately. In light of these compromises, the authors propose two goals to guide current reform efforts in Congress. Initially, Congress's attempt to reform patent fraud enforcement should relieve the aforementioned institutional conflict. More deeply, Congress should reevaluate what overall policies should drive American patent law.
Kali Murray and Dmitriy Vinarov,
Rethinking Patent Fraud Enforcement in a Reform Era,
13 Marq. Intellectual Property L. Rev. 263
Available at: http://scholarship.law.marquette.edu/iplr/vol13/iss2/2