Graduation Year

Spring 2014

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE)

Reader 1

Eric Helland

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© 2014 Eli Coon

Abstract

This thesis proposes an exception to the common law efficiency hypothesis. In many cases, common law moves toward efficient legal rules through an evolutionary process of litigation incentives. Software patent law has departed from this trend, due to an asymmetric and unopposed set of litigation incentives by parties in precedent setting decisions. This paper evaluates the history of software patent legal rules, using an economic model of litigation incentives. It concludes that software patent law has been driven toward inefficiency due to an asymmetric set of interests between patent filers and administrative agencies.

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