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

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.”
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.”
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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.

Quote

Lawsuit Over Online Book Lending Could Bankrupt Internet Archive

“It seems like the publishers have a pretty strong case. I think there are arguments for fair use, but they're not terribly strong arguments.”
 — James Grimmelmann, Professor of Law, Cornell University
James Grimmelmann
Ars Technica
June 1, 2020

Featured Article

Privacy as Commons: Case Evaluation Through the Governing Knowledge Commons Framework

“Privacy” is best defined as a matter of the appropriate flow of information. A concept known as the “general knowledge commons” helps analyze privacy problems, although the concept was developed for creative content rather than privacy analysis.

By: Katherine Strandburg, Brett M. Frischmann