Sag, Jacobi and Sytch (2007)
|Sag, Jacobi and Sytch (2007)
|The Effect of Judicial Ideology in Intellectual Property Cases
|Sag, M., Jacobi, T., Sytch, M.
|Sag, Matthew and Jacobi, Tonja and Sytch, Maxim, The Effect of Judicial Ideology in Intellectual Property Cases (July 2, 2007). 2nd Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Paper.
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|About the Data
|Database contains a comprehensive set of 72 Supreme Court opinions dealing with IP from 1954 through 2006 which is adapted from a widely used database of Supreme Court opinions developed by Harold Spaeth: the United States Supreme Court Judicial Database.
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This article investigates the relationship between ideology and judicial decision-making in the context of intellectual property. This article empirically establishes that judicial decision making in relation to IP is significantly and predictably shaped by judicial ideology. Using data drawn from Supreme Court intellectual property cases decided in between 1954 and 2006, we show that ideology is a significant determinant of cases involving intellectual property rights. However, our analysis also shows that there are significant differences between intellectual property and other areas of the law with respect to the effect of ideology. This analysis has important implications for the study of intellectual property. It also contributes to the broader judicial ideology literature by demonstrating the effect of ideology in economic cases.
Main Results of the Study
This article explores whether the outcomes of intellectual property cases are determined by judicial ideology – as measured on the traditional liberal-conservative scale. Political science’s ‘attitudinal school’ – developing the legal realist claim that judges vote their political preferences, or attitudes – have shown that ideology is a significant,TPFPT and arguably the dominant, determinant of judicial decisions generally. More specifically, it shows that:
- Correcting the erroneous impression that intellectual property is not shaped by judicial ideology is important for IP (Intellectual Property) scholarship, but it also provides a vital answer to a largely unanswered question in the broader judicial ideology literature, of whether ideology shapes economic cases as well as salient social-political issues.
- The types of IP involved in a case are also a significant determinant of the probability that the justices will vote for (or against) the IP owner.
- Although we can resoundingly reject the notion that IP is immune to the effects of ideological division, there is evidence that IP is different to other areas of the law. There is a significant difference between the extent to which ideology shapes IP cases and the extent to which it affects other areas of the law.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
- The stronger relationship between IP and ideology for conservatives suggests that the status of IP rights as private property may well be a trump against other competing values.
- Although there is considerable evidence supporting the attitudinal model of judicial decision making in non-economic areas, such as criminal procedure and administrative law, there is much less evidence to support the attitudinal model in economic areas such as taxation, securities and antitrust.
Coverage of Study
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