"My new paper, "Inventions Made For Hire", was published last week. The PDF is available on SSRN here and an eBook version is available from the New York University Journal of Intellectual Property & Entertainment Law here.
The article is a comparison of the developments in copyright law and patent law in the nineteenth century that resulted in copyright law developing a work made for hire doctrine while patent law only developed a patchwork of judge-made employment doctrines. The article theorizes that patent law did not develop an inventions made for hire doctrine, because inventive activity was almost exclusively perceived to be performed by individuals. It goes on to suggest that, as patentable inventions today are generally perceived to be invented collaboratively, the Patent Act should be amended to borrow from the Copyright Act and adopt a principle similar to the work made for hire doctrine".It's an interesting thesis, and a plausible one. What do readers of this blog think, though?