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  • Legal Memorandum posted June 21, 2016 by Alden Abbott The Constitutionalist and Utilitarian Justifications for Strong U.S. Patent and Copyright Systems

    Intellectual property (IP) is increasingly important to the American private economy, and a discussion of the appropriate public policy toward IP is timely, particularly given the recent growth in public skepticism toward IP rights.[1] Robust federal protection for IP is not just important to America’s economic future, but also consistent with constitutional originalism…

  • Legal Memorandum posted June 20, 2016 by Alden Abbott FDA Reform: A Prescription for More and Better Drugs and Medical Devices

    In recent decades, U.S. and foreign biopharmaceutical companies (makers of drugs that are based on chemical compounds or biological materials, such as vaccines) and medical device manufacturers have been responsible for many cures and advances in treatment that have benefited patients’ lives. New cancer treatments, medical devices, and other medical discoveries are being…

  • Backgrounder posted June 2, 2016 by Alden Abbott Section 337 of the Tariff Act: Fighting Distortionary Import Trade and Strengthening American Intellectual Property Rights

    International trade restrictions already have generated substantial commentary and may loom large during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.[1] Accordingly, sound analysis of U.S. international trade regulation is particularly timely and important. Public policies that rely on free-market forces and avoid government interventions that distort terms of international…

  • Legal Memorandum posted February 8, 2016 by Alden Abbott Time to Eliminate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

    On July 24, 2015, in State National Bank of Big Springs v. Lew,[1] the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that an Oklahoma bank had standing to challenge the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) created by the Dodd–Frank Act.[2] In so holding, the appeals court noted that the CFPB “has already exercised … broad…

  • Backgrounder posted December 3, 2015 by Alden Abbott Time to Repeal Agricultural Marketing Orders

    Imagine that you and your family have run a family farm for generations, raising a legal and healthy food crop that is popular with American consumers. Until recently, you dealt with middlemen (“handlers”) who processed, packed, and sold your crop to consumers but held some back from the marketplace. You have determined, however, that using handlers is costing you a great…

  • Backgrounder posted July 17, 2015 by Alden Abbott U.S. Antidumping Law Needs a Dose of Free-Market Competition

    Imported goods and services provide great benefits to the American economy. According to the 2015 Economic Report of the President: [I]nternational trade helps U.S. households’ budgets go further. Because our trading partners also specialize in the goods and services for which they are relatively more productive, the prices for those goods and services in the United…

  • Backgrounder posted July 14, 2015 by Alden Abbott, John Malcolm A Measured Approach to Patent Reform Legislation

    Patent rights, like other property rights, serve as a vital engine of economic growth, improving the quality—and length in the case of innovative medical devices and techniques and new pharmaceuticals—of Americans’ lives. Garage inventors and multinational companies alike spend time, effort, and money researching and developing new ideas and technologies that make…

  • Special Report posted June 3, 2015 by James L. Gattuso, Alden Abbott, Curtis S. Dubay, David Inserra, Paul Rosenzweig, Michael Sargent, Brett D. Schaefer Saving Internet Freedom

    Table of Contents Net Neutrality: Reining in Innovation Internet Governance: Past, Present, and Future Regulatory Barriers to Online Commerce Protecting Internet Commerce from Undue Tax Burdens Copyright and the Internet: Getting the Balance Right The Intersection of Internet Freedom and Cybersecurity E-mail Digital Privacy In the space…

  • Legal Memorandum posted May 20, 2015 by Alden Abbott You Don’t Need the FCC: How the FTC Can Successfully Police Broadband-Related Internet Abuses

    On February 26, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to impose 1930s-era “common carrier” regulations on Internet providers by enacting an “Open Internet Order.” As a Heritage Foundation analysis points out,[1] this decision threatens to generate hundreds of new rules that will raise the costs of Internet firms, deter innovation, and reduce competition among…

  • Legal Memorandum posted March 30, 2015 by Alden Abbott, Paul Larkin North Carolina Dental Board and the Reform of State-Sponsored Protectionism

    On February 25, 2015, in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. FTC (North Carolina Dental Board),[1] the Supreme Court of the United States struck a blow for consumers and economic freedom. The case involved a North Carolina statute prohibiting non-dentists, including dental assistants, from whitening patients’ teeth and granting a board that included…

  • Legal Memorandum posted March 13, 2015 by Andrew Kloster, Alden Abbott King v. Burwell and the Mandates: What Happens If the Supreme Court Rules Against the Administration?

    On March 4, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral argument in King v. Burwell.[1] This case is a challenge by individuals (petitioners) who do not wish to comply with the so-called minimum coverage provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare).[2] If the plaintiffs are successful, an Obama Administration rule granting certain…

  • Legal Memorandum posted March 4, 2015 by Alden Abbott Patent Policy Change Would Undermine Property Rights and Innovation

    American standard-setting organizations (SSOs), which are private sector–based associations through which businesses come together to set voluntary industrial standards, confer great benefits on the modern economy. They enable virtually all products that we rely upon in modern society (including mechanical, electrical, information, telecommunications, and other systems)…

  • Legal Memorandum posted December 11, 2014 by Alden Abbott Constitutional Constraints on Federal Antitrust Law

    A‌merica’s antitrust laws have long held a special status in the ‌federal statutory hierarchy. The Supreme Court of the United States, for example, has famously stated that the “[a]ntitrust laws in general, and the Sherman Act in particular, are the Magna Carta of free enterprise.”[1] Thus, a decision not to apply the antitrust laws to a particular type of conduct…

  • Commentary posted December 1, 2014 by Alden Abbott Transatlantic Trade Negotiations: Keeping Regulation in Check

    Last week, the George Washington University Center for Regulatory Studies convened a Conference (GW Conference) on the Status of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Negotiations between the European Union (EU) and the United States (U.S.), which were launched in 2013 and will continue for an indefinite period of time. In launching TTIP, the Obama…

  • Commentary posted November 13, 2014 by Alden Abbott Abuse of Dominance by Patentees: A Pro-Innovation Perspective

    Antitrust issues (referred to interchangeably here as competition issues) are an increasingly important consideration for intellectual property (IP) owners. Such issues can arise in numerous transactions involving IP rights, including from refusals to license, exclusive licenses, royalty provisions, field of use restrictions, territorial and customer limitations,…