Patent Policy Adrift in a Sea of Anecdote: A Reply to Lichtman


We enjoyed reading and thinking about Doug Lichtman's response to our article on the doctrine of equivalents (DOE), especially his eloquent formulation of the essential policy issues. Apparently, the three of us share roughly the same approach to economic analysis of the DOE. Nevertheless, Lichtman fears we have overestimated the skill of patent attorneys and lost track of the crucial role the DOE plays in augmenting patent scope and bolstering incentives to invent. We write this reply to highlight two largely empirical questions that we disagree about, and explain how these disagreements lead us to very different policy conclusions.


patent scope, invention, doctrine of equivalents, patent claims

Publication Date


Document Type


Place of Original Publication

Georgetown Law Journal

Publication Information

93 Georgetown Law Review 2033 (2005)

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COinS Michael J. Meurer Faculty Bio