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To see patents as devices of uncertain (but contingent) quality: A Foucaultian perspective

Dent, C. (2007) To see patents as devices of uncertain (but contingent) quality: A Foucaultian perspective. University of Melbourne. Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia, Melbourne, VIC.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1001613
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Abstract

Commentators argue that the patent system is uncertain and that the uncertainty should be reduced. The application of a Foucaultian perspective demonstrates that the interdisciplinary nature of the system means that it will necessarily be uncertain - where uncertainty is understood to be the result of a lack of understanding produced by differences in the training of the personnel involved. In the words of Foucault, the argument is that uncertainty is unavoidable because of the different discourses and different internalised discursive practices that constitute the patent system overall. The multiple groups of players that contribute to the system results in many actions being observed across discursive boundaries. The article differentiates between perceptions that are contingent (intra-discursive understandings) and uncertain (inter-discursive understandings). The discursive nature of the system also, however, produces its stability. The reproduction of the discourses through the repetition of discursive practices means that the system, overall, has significant inertia.

Publication Type: Working Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Law
Series Name: Working Paper. Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia
Publisher: University of Melbourne. Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/36440
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