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Hastings Law Journal

Abstract

In Parklane Hosiery Co. v. Shore, the United States Supreme Court ap- -proved the offensive, unilateral use of collateral estoppel and prescribed some general guidelines for the discretionary application of collateral estoppel This Article closely examines the Parkrne case and the theory underlying the doctrine of collateral estoppel to propose not only an interpretation of the standards articulated by the Parklane Court, but also a mode of analysis by which courts can determine whether the offensive unilateral use of collateral estoppel is desirable in a particular case. The authors then apply this analysis to the results in a recent state court decision and to an area of law which has long resisted the growing trend toward abandoning the mutuality of estoppel requirement: patent law. The application of the authors' analysis demonstrates that, regardless of the theory of recovery, offensive unilateral application furthers the underlying purposes of collateral estoppel while creating few of the difficulties which some courts and commentators have long feared.

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