Certainty or fairness – what would you choose?

If you had to choose between business certainty and fairness, what would you choose? 

If the intellectual property laws could be codified so that the result in intellectual property disputes is always certain – even though it might not be fair – would that be ok?  Or would you prefer that the legislative guidelines remain broad and the fine details in each circumstance be worked out in context – in litigation?  (As happens today?)

This was the delicate balance raised by the Honourable Paul Michel, Chief Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in a recent interview on IP Colloquium.

From a business perspective – does it make more sense to save on legal fees and go for certainty?  Or would you prefer to litigate in a less certain environment to increase your chances of a fair result?

Photo credit: Clearly Ambiguous

2 Comments on “Certainty or fairness – what would you choose?

  1. Hi,A very valid and most relevant fundamental question. To my understanding:what is “certain” to be done is dependent on “fairness”. This raises the issue of having a uniform IP system?  Does the use of “fairness” method reciprocate the theory of evolution (fittest being survives)?The use of case laws is an attempt to codify the IP law, which itself is questionable as the innovation is per se and cannot be compared across past developments.

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