Fromer and Lemley (2013)
|Fromer and Lemley (2013)|
|Title:||The Audience in Intellectual Property Infringement|
|Author(s):||Fromer, J. C., Lemley, M. A.|
|Citation:||Fromer, Jeanne C., and Mark A. Lemley. "Audience in Intellectual Property Infringement, The." Mich. L. Rev. 112 (2013): 1251.|
|Link(s):||Definitive , Open Access|
|Key Related Studies:|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||The authors make a comparative analysis on how different the role of audience is in the infringement of IP rights, focussing on 4 different legal areas: trademark law, patent law, copyright law and design patent law.|
|Data Type:||Secondary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:||
"Every IP right has its own definition of infringement. In this paper, we suggest that this diversity of legal rules is largely traceable to differences in the audience in IP cases. Patent, trademark, copyright, and design patent each focus on a different person as the fulcrum for evaluating IP infringement. The fact that patent law focuses on an expert audience while trademark looks to a consumer audience explains many of the differences in how patent and trademark cases are decided. Expert audiences are likely to evaluate infringement based on the technical similarity between the plaintiff’s and defendant’s works. Consumers, by contrast, are likely to pay more attention to market substitution and less attention to how things work under the hood. Understanding the different audiences in IP infringement is critical to understanding how the IP regimes define infringement."
Main Results of the Study
- The authors note that to each IP regimes corresponds a particular audience. In Patent law the audience is the expert, the person having ordinary skilled in the art (‘PHOSITA’). In Trademark law, the audience is the consumer. Copyright law is a mix of both and switches between the experts’ perspective, consumers’ perspective and ordinary observer perspective.
- The choice of audience (consumer, experts) drives the definition of infringement for each respective regime.
- Hence, the choice of the audience for each IP regimes “collectively shapes the available body of works, products, and brands”.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
The authors underline the importance of understanding the differences between the IP regimes audiences as the different audiences will lead each IP regimes to different tests for infringement. The choice of audience for each regime should be made carefully for each IP laws to reach their desired goals. Hence, the authors propose an “hybrid” audience in IP infringement: experts for assessing similarity and consumers for assessing substitutability. Patent law and Trademark Law should learn from Copyright law which uses this hybrid approach.
Coverage of Study
|Level of aggregation:||IP rights|
|Period of material under study:||2013|