In his 1974 Nobel Prize Lecture, Freidrich Hayek admonished us, as he did throughout so much of his work, about the limitations of our knowledge and stressed what knowledge we do have should be used "not to shape the results as the craftsman shapes his handiwork, but rather to cultivate a growth by providing the appropriate environment." This analogy-what Hayek referred to as the "pretense of knowledge"-is germane to legal systems where the common law plays a prominent role. Patent law is such a field. Judicial stewardship of the patent space can be seen as an institutional advantage, one that compares favorably to punctuated, and potentially more distortive or inartful, congressional action. The judge is closer to the "inside baseball" dynamic that is unique to each of the divergent interests that participate in the patent system. Each mastery of the events possible. He will therefore have to use what knowledge he can achieve, not to shape the results as the craftsman shapes his handiwork, but rather to cultivate a growth by providing the appropriate environment, in the manner in which the gardener does this for his plants.
Craig A. Nard,
Legal Fictions and the Role of Information in Patent Law,
69 Vanderbilt Law Review
Available at: https://scholarship.law.vanderbilt.edu/vlr/vol69/iss6/3