Originally uploaded at SSRN.


The Supreme Court has been markedly more active in patent law in recent years, as many have noted. How much has patent law changed as a result? The amount of change one sees is, in important respects, a function of the lens through which one looks. In this network analysis of the Supreme Court’s citations to its own case law in all its intellectual property cases from 1947 to 2017, inclusive, I am reminded of Alphonse Karr’s famous quip: “Plus ça change, plus c’est law mȇme chose” — the more it changes, the more it’s the same thing. I report these empirical results as part of my commentary on Seth Waxman’s newly published analysis of the Supreme Court’s recent, more intense engagement with patent law.