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The patent regime is a quintessential notice system. Implicit in its design is the concept that one attempting to license a patent can identify those who hold the requisite rights and the territory that the patent holders claim. The modern system, however, bears little resemblance to the idealized form. In the last decade, an entire Hobbit’s world has been created under the foliage with little information available to inform the market. To address the problem, this Article suggests borrowing from doctrines related to disclosure in the realm of corporate securities, molding those doctrines to particular patent concerns. As a government grant, bestowed for constitutional purposes, a patent is an asset imbued with the public interest. Analogous to the trading of public securities, the trading of patent assets must be sufficiently transparent to ensure proper functioning of that trading market.

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Virginia Journal of Law & Technology