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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

Berkeley law professor Pamela Samuelson’s recent article examines proposed reforms of the DMCA’s safe harbor rules that limit the liability of ISPs hosting user-generated content. Professor Samuelson urges Congress to “take a balanced approach” and “consider the interests of a wide range of stakeholders”.
A selection of articles recently written by TAP scholars explore AI and business competition, autonomous vehicles, how privacy regulation could support innovation, privacy interfaces focused on peoples’ needs, and licensing standard-essential patents for 5G telecommunications.
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.”
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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

Google’s Supreme Court Faceoff with Oracle Was a Disaster for Google

There's a real chance the Supreme Court could focus on this issue [the copyright status of APIs] in its decision—perhaps sending the case back down to the lower courts for even more litigation. — James Grimmelmann, Professor of Law, Cornell Tech and Cornell Law School

James Grimmelmann
Ars Technica
October 8, 2020

Featured Article

Licensing Standard Essential Patents with FRAND Commitments: Preparing for 5G Mobile Telecommunications

As 5G mobile telecommunication technologies develop, some have proposed that courts or administrative agencies should regulate licensing of Standard Essential Patents (SEPs).

By: Daniel Spulber