Patent law challenges - Patent law

All too often one of the biggest challenges in any major endeavor is figuring out exactly where to begin. In the endeavor of learning patent law that difficulty is magnified by the fact that patent topics are often highly interwoven so that no matter where one starts, they will inevitably be drawn into other related topics. Because of this, our conceptual framework will not always be assembled in a strictly linear fashion but may come to better resemble a mosaic of interlocking pieces. For some,the sometime frequent diversions from one topic to another may be annoying, but for others (e.g., those with attention deficit disorder) such diversions can be welcome.No matter which camp your flag flies over, the benefit to seeing the same topic introduced multiple times for different purposes adds significant value to the learning experience. Although repetition can magnify boredom, it can also reinforce learning,especially where the repetition occurs in different settings, perhaps resonating somewhat differently each time. Topics will sometimes be presented once or twice as aperipheral component when necessary to help explain the main topic, only to appear yet once again, perhaps this time as the main topic. To the extent such digressions are truly peripheral, they will be explained in footnotes, often with a reference to wherein the text that topic is part of the central discussion. I strongly encourage you to read the footnotes because they do much to fill in the mosaic. You’ll notice the tone in the footnotes is typically more relaxed and conversational, allowing an expansiveness in nuance and detail that is not always so readily accommodated in the text.

So where to begin? In this first substantive chapter, we’ll start with some opening thoughts on property, move to patents as property, and end with, a discussion on the fundamental differences between owning a patent and having freedom-to-operate.

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