Stanford Technology Law Review

The Stanford Technology Law Review (STLR) strives to present well-rounded analyses of the legal, business, and policy issues that arise at the intersection of intellectual property law, science and technology, and industry. STLR publishes exclusively online, providing timely coverage of emerging issues to its readership base of legal academics and practitioners. As of the Spring of 2015, all articles published by STLR are peer-reviewed prior to acceptance.

Current Issue

Volume 19, Issue 2

Articles

TOWARD AN AUTOMATED FIRST IMPRESSION ON PATENT CLAIM VALIDITY: ALGORITHMICALLY ASSOCIATING CLAIM LANGUAGE WITH SPECIFIC RULES OF LAW

Can an algorithm identify words that place patent claims at higher risk of invalidation? Today’s language processing software can hardly compete with a seasoned legal professional in assessing claim quality. It may, however, uncover patterns that indicate similarity of patent claim terms to others that have already been challenged in the courts. This methodology quantitatively approximates the invalidity risk a patent claim faces based on the similarity of its words to other claims adjudicated under a specific rule of law. In this way, software-based linguistic analysis according to the methodology presented here provides a starting point for efficiently and algorithmically generating a legal “first impression” on the text of a patent claim. This study explores potential correlation of keywords to patent eligibility, a legal doctrine restricting a patent’s monopoly power to innovations of particular types. This methodology explores the possibility of estimating risk for a particular claim, based on the presence of keywords commonly seen in claims previously adjudicated for validity under a specific rule of law. Such tools could efficiently reduce the scope of uncertainty for factors indicating patent quality and provide alternatives to costly litigation for patent value discovery.
  • April 2016
  • 19 Stan. Tech. L. Rev. 196
  • Article

SPACE DEBRIS: A LAW AND ECONOMICS ANALYSIS OF THE ORBITAL COMMONS

In this paper, I examine the problem of space debris using the tools of economics. The difficulties posed by space debris resemble those typically associated with public goods and common pool resources. Thus it is not surprising that a tragedy of the commons has resulted, in the form of cluttered orbits. However, given the peculiar legal arrangements that characterize space in both domestic and international law, solving this problem is not straightforward. I analyze the difficulties that both private and public actors must overcome if the space debris problem is to be solved. Although proposing a particular solution is beyond the scope of this paper, by addressing the problem from an economic perspective, I clarify the costs that must be considered in order for private and public actors to make informed decisions concerning space debris mitigation and removal.
  • April 2016
  • 19 Stan. Tech. L. Rev. 221
  • Article

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