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The construction of legitimacy in European patent law

Thambisetty, Sivaramjani (2017) The construction of legitimacy in European patent law. Intellectual Property Quarterly, 2017 (3). 221 - 244. ISSN 1364-906X

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Identification Number: 10.2139/ssrn.2851958


Different elements in the patent community speak of inventions and the criteria through which property rights may be granted or withheld from them in ways that are often incongruent. In large part this is due to disagreements about the functional, if not normative legitimacy, of many patentability standards. This paper examines how the European Patent Office’s (EPO) practice Examination Guidelines designed to be a prosaic guide to legal standards, transforms contested inventive matter and methods into patent claims. In doing so these Guidelines manage and manipulate the legitimate expectations of the patent community. The analysis makes the broader conceptual point that patent law standards are shaped by a version of ‘textualisation’ that relies on linguistic and rhetorical structures to cumulatively entrench meanings, and manage the acceptance of the EPO’s legal positions by those who are governed by them. The scale of textualised outcomes in patent law is a threat to coherence but also explains the EPO’s ascendancy in the regulatory sphere.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 Thomson Reuters
Divisions: Law
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
JEL classification: K - Law and Economics > K1 - Basic Areas of Law > K10 - General
K - Law and Economics > K2 - Regulation and Business Law > K20 - General
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2017 13:18
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 15:48

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