Emory Law Journal

Volume 63Issue 3

Paddling Past Nicastro in the Stream of Commerce Doctrine: Interpreting Justice Breyer’s Concurrence as Implicitly Inviting Lower Courts to Develop Alternative Jurisdictional Standards

Kaitlyn Findley | 63 Emory L.J. 695 (2014)

The Supreme Court established the stream of commerce doctrine in its World-Wide Volkswagen Corp. v. Woodson opinion in response to the rapid emergence of complex personal jurisdiction questions in products liability cases involving nonresident manufacturers whose products were sold and caused injury in U.S. forums. Although the doctrine was initially intended to clarify jurisdictional analysis in these cases, its application has been ambiguous and judicially divisive due to the Court's chronic inability to explicate the quantity and quality of contacts that the doctrine requires a nonresident defendant to establish with a forum state before that state may exercise personal jurisdiction over it.

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Sparse Patent Protection for Research Tools: Expansion of the Safe Harbor Has Changed the Rules

Robert A. Jones | 63 Emory L.J. 749 (2014)

The protection provided by patent rights benefits society by encouraging inventors to disclose their inventions, but these same rights can be wielded against competitors through infringement suits, causing a chilling effect on later innovation. In the field of pharmaceutical innovation, the Hatch–Waxman Act’s safe harbor has provided a defense against infringement, allowing generic manufacturers to quickly bring low-cost drugs to the public while trespassing minimally on the patent holder’s rights. The Act’s delicate balance of benefits and burdens has been threatened by recent judicial interpretations of the provision’s scope. The scope of the safe harbor has been expanded to the point that it reduces the value of patent protection for laboratory tools and methods, and in turn threatens the patent system’s role in encouraging innovation in these areas.

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