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Hastings Law Journal

Abstract

Fuzzy logic, a relatively new mathematical concept, has emerged over the past few decades as an effective tool to model complexity and uncertainty. In a nutshell, fuzzy logic recognizes that truth is not always black or white, but rather, truth can be measured in shades of gray. Patents, because they rely on language to claim inventions, are fuzzy legal concepts. Fuzzy logic may help to simplify the jurors' comprehension of complex real-world problems in patent law.

In this Note, I propose a "fuzzy" special verdict form and procedure for "defuzzifying" the verdict that would allow the jury the freedom to express uncertainty, add transparency to jury verdicts for reviewing courts to clarify the hotly disputed issues, and present an accurate depiction of the jury's verdict. Of course, the fuzzy special verdict form will not give juries carte blanche to circumvent their constitutional duty and avoid making a decision regarding factual findings. Instead, the process of "defuzzification" described in this Note will transform the fuzzy verdict into a crisp set of factual findings in patent infringement jury trials.

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