With a doctorate in chemistry from the Massachussetts Institute of Technology, the author has held positions in discovery research, as well as a professorship, and recently received his J.D. from the Fordham University School of Law. His current interests include the strategic use of alternative dispute-resolution techniques in the conduct of corporate commercial policy, and the study of forces driving the evolution of intellectual property law.
Since 1925, the courts have held firm to their reluctance to include patent disputes in the arbitration forum, only relenting in the early 1980s. Since then, many corporations have come to realize that arbitration is a quicker, cheaper, more flexible and less-damaging method of resolving patent disputes than litigation. The author traces the historical drawbacks of patent litigation in this country, examines the events leading up to the approval of patent arbitration and concludes with a discussion of the benefits of resolving such disputes through arbitration.
The United States Constitution grants Congress the power to promote the progress of technology by securing for inventors exclusive rights to their inventions for certain periods of time.1 Using this power, Congress has established the Patent and Trademark Office, which issues patents lasting less than 20 years to inventors of new or improved processes, machines or compositions of matter.