Time and time again, scholars have attempted to assess the efficacy of the intellectual property institution; these attempts have created a vast amount of literature. As impressive as the volume of work is that has been generated on this issue, so is the absence of a generally applicable theory of intellectual property, which either claims or disclaims the efficacy of the intellectual property institution. This article questions the existence of a general definition of efficiency that is applicable to the assessment of the patent institution. While it is true that the efficiency as applied to specific cases may be definable with the help of further normative criteria and may even be useful, the indeterminacy of efficiency is such degree that a normative explanation of the institutional arrangement of intellectual property solely based on efficiency is not as useful.
Nari Lee, Toward a Pluralistic Theory on an Efficacious Patent Institution, 6 J. Marshall Rev. Intell. Prop. L. 220 (2007)