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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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.

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.

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.

TAP Blog

Northwestern Professor Daniel Spulber Makes a Case for Patents

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.

TAP Staff Blogger

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

Beyond Eureka: What Creators Want (Freedom, Credit, and Audiences) and How Intellectual Property Can Better Give It to Them (by Supporting Sharing, Licensing, and Attribution)

Intellectual property (IP) law gives creators the right to stop others from using their created works. But IP law may fail to support creators’ achievement of goals such as creative freedom, proper attribution, and sharing.

By: Colleen Chien