Subject: Re: The term "intellectual property" considered useful
From: Thomas Lord <>
Date: Sun, 28 May 2006 20:18:31 -0700

David H. Lynch Jr. wrote:
> I thought property law and equity law were distinct and that appears to
> be true.
> And I think one way of reading this decision is in applying Property
> versus equity law.

You'll have to ask Mr. Rosen or your wife (an attorney, I think
you said?) about the terms of art but, taking you in plain english:

Yes:  property law determines the boundaries on which others
might infringe.   Equity law, absent statutory overrides, determines
remedies for the infringement.

> it does mean that
> the court does not view the patent holder as the owner in the sense that
> I own my home, 

On the contrary.  The decision doesn't spell out some "calculus"
that makes precise analogies between violations of your patent
rights and violations of your homeowner rights but, when it
comes to remedies, especially injunctive relief, it affirms that the
same general principles apply in both cases  -- your home and
a patent are similar in that the same principles apply, in the
default case, when deciding remedies.

> but an owner
> in the sense that they are one of many parties in possession of the some
> of the rights of ownership.

That's a little too strangely put for me to be sure what you mean.

*Of course* your neighbors, passers by, the public in general,
etc. possess some rights with respect to what is done with your
homeowner's property.  At least afaict :-)