Current Issue

Volume 2013 – Issue 2 (Fall)

Articles

“The World as Our Technologist: Visualizing Worldwide Sources of Technologies Patented in the United States” by Richard Gruner
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Patent rewards in the United States incentivize and attract the overseas development of many new technologies used in this country. The United States—as the world’s largest economy—is the primary driver of technology development worldwide. The strength of U.S. patent laws, court systems, and civil law enforcement processes ensures that parties who produce new inventions of commercial value and who patent and popularize the inventions in the United States can count on patent enforcement and rewards regardless of where the patented inventions were made. In short, the United States pays for technological value through its patent system and has benefitted from international attention to its technological needs as a result. In the process, it has also incentivized the creation of new technologies of international importance and commercial value. In this, persons and businesses in countries with weaker patent systems are incidental beneficiaries—some would say underpaying incidental beneficiaries—of the successful research and production of valuable new technologies that the U.S. patent system has incentivized and rewarded.
This Article uses data visualization techniques to explore the degree to which foreign inventors have taken the United States up on this bargain by patenting and commercializing foreign-generated technologies in the United States. The Article identifies countries that have been particularly efficient and effective sources of new technologies patented in the United States. Countries are analyzed here in terms of their invention outputs per home country gross domestic product (GDP) measured in constant U.S. dollars. This technique treats various countries as if they have equal economies backing their research and technology development efforts. Countries that are particularly efficient technology sources have high U.S. patent counts per GDP dollar. These countries are identified in this study primarily through data visualization techniques that compare the productivity of foreign inventors in different countries. The technology production efficiencies of foreign inventors in the countries that are the top ten sources of patented technologies in the United States are compared across countries, in different technology areas, and over time.
The results seen through data visualization are striking in three respects. First, U.S. innovators seem somewhat less efficient in producing new patented technologies in some technology categories than their foreign competitors (taking into account differences in the sizes of the economies of the countries involved). Second, changes in technology production efficiency have evolved very differently over time in different technology areas, suggesting that some areas have seen surges of intense productivity while others may have hit barriers that have slowed invention production over earlier levels. Third, a few relatively small countries—particularly South Korea and Switzerland—have been highly effective in producing new technologies patented in the United States, suggesting that inventors and companies there have targeted technology needs and commercial markets in the United States as innovation targets in particularly aggressive ways, a strategy that innovators in other small countries may wish to emulate.

“Sue My Car Not Me: Products Liability and Accidents Involving Autonomous Vehicles” by Jeffrey K. Gurney
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Autonomous vehicles will revolutionize society in the near future. Computers, however, are not perfect, and accidents will occur while the vehicle is in autonomous mode. This Article answers the question of who should be liable when an accident is caused in autonomous mode. This Article addresses the liability of autonomous vehicle by examining products liability through the use of four scenarios: the Distracted Driver; the Diminished Capabilities Driver; the Disabled Driver; and the Attentive Driver.
Based on those scenarios, this Article suggests that the autonomous technology manufacturer should be liable for accidents caused in autonomous mode because the autonomous vehicle probably caused the accident. Liability should shift back to the “driver” depending on the nature of the driver and the ability of that person to prevent the accident. Thus, this Article argues that an autonomous vehicle manufacturer should be liable for accidents caused in autonomous mode for the Disabled Driver and partially for the Diminished Capabilities Driver and the Distracted Driver. This Article argues the Attentive Driver should be liable for most accidents caused in autonomous vehicles. Currently, products liability does not allocate the financial responsibility of an accident to the party that is responsible for the accident, and this Article suggests that courts and legislatures need to address tort liability for accidents caused in autonomous mode to ensure that the responsible party bears responsibility for accidents.

Essay

“Search Engine Liability for Autocomplete Features: Combating the Power of Suggestion” by Michael L. Smith
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Notes

“Print, Lock, and Load: 3-D Printers, Creation of Guns, and the Potential Threat to Fourth Amendment Rights” by Julian J. Johnson
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“Fabricating Feedback: Blurring the Lines Between Brand Management and Bogus Reviews” by Kaitlin A. Dohse
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“Is Groupon for Lawyers Fraught With Ethical Danger?: Why the Legal Community Should Embrace Innovative Internet-Marketing for Lawyers” by Aaron J. Russ
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Recent Development

“Recent Developments in the Patent Eligibility of Software and Navigating the Uncertainty from a Patent Drafter’s Perspective” by Steven W. Gutke
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