Catholic University Law Review


In a time of renewed interest in equal justice, the vested patent right may be timely again. Vested patent rights helped marginalized Americans to secure equal justice earlier in American history. And they helped to make sense of the law. Vested patent rights can perform those tasks again today.

The concept of vested rights render patent law coherent. And it explains patent law’s interactions with other areas of law, such as property, administrative, and constitutional law. The vested rights doctrine also can serve the requirements of equal justice, as it has several times in American history. Vested rights secure justice for vulnerable minorities against majority factions. They resist the tendency of law to devolve into power. And they solve practical problems consistent with what we owe each other as equal agents of practical reason.