A Time before Chisum

Most of today’s patent attorneys (including this one) do not remember a time before Chisum on Patents. For most of us, Chisum has been the first place to look for an answer to a question on patent law ever since we first had questions on patent law. 

The Written Description blog reminds us, though, that patent attorneys once had no Chisum to consult. Even if you have never opened Chisum on Patents, the previously unpublished essay by Robert Merges about Chisum’s work and the history of patent law deserves a read. As Mr. Merges explains about the origins of Professor Chisum’s work, “[i]nto this miasma of despondence and ennui waded Donald Chisum of the University of Washington Law School of Seattle.” 

Fortunately for us all, Chisum helped roll back the despondence and ennui, resulting in the sometimes contentious, but certainly lively, patent law debates of today.