Intellectual Property

Intellectual property (IP) rights help creators limit who uses their work without giving value in return. This protection encourages innovation in thought and expression. Academics featured on this site research topics such as open source licensing, digital rights management, patent reform, IP and technical standards, trademarks, and trade secrets.

Fact Sheets

Patent Reform

A patent is an exclusive legal right to own and market an invention or improvement for a limited period of time, in exchange for public disclosure of the invention.


Instagram’s Snapchat Ripoff Is Brazen and Totally Fine

"The idea of featured ‘Stories’ is not new, so any patents would likely be quite specific to implementation details. And because the implementation/interfaces are slightly different, copyright doesn’t provide any protection. This is an area where IP laws don’t prevent the copying of another’s features or innovations." — R. Polk Wagner, Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania

R. Polk Wagner
August 2, 2016

Featured Article

A Brief Survey of the Economics of Open Source Software

This paper reviews some key economic aspects of Open Source Software (OSS).

By: Neil Gandal, Chaim Fershtman