Volume 108

Content Discriminatory Patents: A Response to Professor Chiang

by Dan L. Burk

Almost two decades ago, I argued in an academic publication that patent law was on a collision course with the constitutional guarantees of the First Amendment. At the time, I fully expected this provocation to lead to a robust discussion regarding patent law’s intersection with freedom of expression. After all, such a discussion had been going on about patent law’s nearest cousin, copyright law, for some time. But virtually nothing more was said on the subject until this year, when I returned to the topic, and was surprised to discover that Professor Chiang has also taken up the topic in Volume 107 of The Georgetown Law Journal. I now dare to hope that the contemporaneous publication of two parallel analyses of patent law’s compatibility with the First Amendment means that the long-delayed conversation on this topic has at last begun.

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