Christopher C. Smith, The Submarine Defense System Misfires: Patent Prosecution Laches After Symbol Technologies, 40 Gonz. L. Rev. 235 (2005).
Throughout history the law has emphatically protected the property rights of one person from the interference of another. The Framers integrated such protection into the Constitution for intellectual property rights when they authorized Congress “[t]o promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” In exercising this power, Congress balanced the need to provide an incentive for people to invent with the desirability of retaining the long term benefits of these inventions for society. Section 154 of the Patent Act further accomplishes this goal by limiting a patentee’s exclusive rights to a fixed term.