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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

Introduction to several recent articles by TAP scholars that explore the impact of artificial intelligence technologies on gender equity, algorithmic decision-making, cost and rating collusion, free speech, and trade secrecy.
In a recent paper, Professors Daniel Spulber, Northwestern University, and Pere Arque´-Castells, University of Groningen, show that some of the external benefits of R&D are transmitted through markets for technology.
In their article, “From Trade Secrecy to Seclusion,” UC Berkeley law professor Sonia Katyal and UC Hastings adjunct law professor Charles Graves argue that trade secret law is being applied beyond its intended purpose of protecting intellectual property and increasingly being used as a tool for open-ended concealment.
Harvard’s Josh Lerner and Stanford’s Amit Seru share findings from their recent work with Nick Short and Yuan Sun to identify who the innovators and patent awardees are within the financial technology sector.
The Case for Patents, a new book by Northwestern University business and law professor Daniel Spulber, emphasizes the importance of incentives for invention, innovation, and technology adoption.
A selection of articles recently written by TAP scholars explore AI and the impact on privacy, how to safeguard privacy and security in an interconnected world, digital platforms and antitrust, and patent reform to support innovation.
Heidi Williams and Lisa Larrimore Ouellette, both with Stanford University, propose two modest changes the USPTO can implement to address shortcomings in the US patent system.
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.
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Fact Sheets

Piracy and IP Enforcement

In the context of technology, “piracy” is a colloquial term for the illegal copying of copyrighted works. The related problem of counterfeiting is the illegal reproduction of patented or trademarked products.

Quote

Lofi Girl Disappeared from YouTube and Reignited Debate Over Bogus Copyright Claims

“We ended up with this system because in the 1990s, when the contours of the internet and copyright are still coming into view, this is the compromise that representatives of the copyright industries and the internet industries worked out.” — James Grimmelmann, Professor of Law, Cornell University

James Grimmelmann
NPR
July 16, 2022

Featured Article

Sequential Uses of Copyrighted Materials: Transforming the Transformative Use Doctrine in Andy Warhol Foundation v. Lynn Goldsmith

The case of Andy Warhol Foundation v. Lynn Goldsmith arose when one artist’s copyrighted work was used to create a second artist’s work. The key factor is the effect of the alleged infringement on the value of the first work.

By: Richard Epstein