In November 2015, the Vanderbilt Law Review hosted a Symposium entitled “The Disclosure Function of the Patent System.” This event brought together distinguished patent and intellectual property scholars to explore the ways that the patent system encourages the dissemination of technical knowledge. The twelve articles authored from this Symposium provide thoughtful reflections on this important function of the patent system and are published here as the November 2016 issue of the Vanderbilt Law Review.
This Roundtable considers Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, which will be argued before the Supreme Court on November 2, 2015. In Spokeo, the Court will consider whether Congress may confer Article III standing upon plaintiffs who suffer no concrete injury by vesting them with a private right of action to enforce a statutory requirement. The case may have broad-reaching impacts upon standing doctrine because a decision for the petitioner would substantially restrict Congress's ability to provide for enforcement of statutory rights when they are not accompanied by an "injury in fact." At its heart, Spokeo is a separation-of-powers case focused on the tension between Congress’s legislative power to create rights and enforcement mechanisms and the Court’s power to define and enforce Article III’s standing requirements.