Issues

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.

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TAP Blog

In “A Toolkit of Policies to Promote Innovation,” Professors Nicholas Bloom, John Van Reenen, and Heidi Williams present a number of the main innovation policy levers to energize technological innovation.
Stanford economist Heidi Williams investigates how US patent allowances affect firm performance and worker pay. Beyond simply raising average earnings, she finds that patents exacerbate within-firm inequality.
Josh Lerner, Harvard Business School, presents his recent research on intellectual property rights and innovation in China.
A new paper by Santa Clara University’s Eric Goldman and Northeastern Law’s Jessica Silbey provides a roadmap to distinguish the legitimate and illegitimate bases for protecting privacy via copyright.
In honor of World IP Day, TAP highlights a few of the articles and scholars that examine intellectual property technology-policy issues.
In “Patent Pool Outsiders,” Maurer School of Law professor Michael Mattioli examines the impact of ‘outsiders’ on patent pools and finds that partial cooperation on license agreements may be better than complete cooperation.
MIT economics professor Heidi Williams reviews recent US Supreme Court rulings on patent eligibility and presents her rigorous empirical research on the question: do patents impede or encourage innovation?
Santa Clara University law professor Eric Goldman examines a paradox presented in the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA): while the DTSA provides an important development in intellectual property law, the statute says it “shall not be construed to be a law pertaining to intellectual property for purposes of any other Act of Congress.”
Professor Colleen Chien has been recognized by the American Law Institute due to her “work in intellectual property law [that] has already helped shape governmental policy around innovation.”
Cornell law professor James Grimmelmann provides an overview of Judge Gorsuch’s opinions from IP and Internet law cases. Justice Neil Gorsuch is President Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court.
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Fact Sheets

Software Patents

A patent provides an exclusive legal right to an invention for a limited period of time, in exchange for public disclosure of that innovation. As with other property rights, patents may be sold, transferred, or licensed for a third party’s use.

Quote

Louis C.K. Is Trying to Outlaw Leaks. Can He Do That?

"It’s overreaching in terms of copyright law. The law grants certain rights, but it withholds certain others." — Jeanne Fromer, Professor of Law, New York University

Jeanne Fromer
The New York Times
May 9, 2019

Featured Article

How Does the Use of Trademarks by Third-Party Sellers Affect Online Search?

This paper examines the effects of trademark use in advertisements by third-party resellers.

By: Lesley Chiou, Catherine Tucker