I’ve noticed a fair amount of increased interest in my personal web page and blogs (probably by people looking to confirm an un-cited-to claim about my stand on an issue relevant to a professor in philosophy – a stand I never took, as I merely tried to correct some misperceptions about the nature of tenure given I worked in that area of the law when I was employed in the NY Attorney General’s office). Doubtless those who searched out my statements on that case are puzzled as to why Leiter would mention me by name – I did muse on his own stand on the case. I have no answer for that other than the guy seems obsessed and consumed by vendettas. He has been proven wrong in his judgment about my foresight and abilities of analysis of the justice of gene patents, I was more or less vindicated by a sweeping change in the law, and the rest is history. The Second Edition documents the arguments I made, their applicability to the current legal scheme, and the errors of those who for so long supported a practice which I am glad to see stopped in the USA.
In the new edition, which includes a foreword by Kevin Noonan of http://www.patentdocs.org (who is a friendly and an honest critic of my arguments even now), I elaborate on the Myriad case, which began after the first edition was published, and offered an exciting opportunity to track the relevance of public philosophical debate. The case surprised many in the patent bar, but anyone who pays attention to the logical arguments about the nature of “isolated” genes vs. those that are part of the genome would not be surprised. The unanimous Supreme Court decision was entirely logical, the legal landscape has been made more logical and predictable, and in this edition I added some materials proposing a general ontology of discovery and invention that helps to make sense of the new state of the law for applicability in the future.
I’ll have a lot more to say in the near future on patent reform in general which I think is at a critical crossroads, but in the meantime, and once again, thank you Brian Leiter, for keeping my name in the blogosphere, and helping to draw attention to my work. Keep it up and I may feel obliged to give you a cut of the royalties.