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

What Are the Most Effective Policies for Stimulating Technological Innovation?

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.

TAP Staff Blogger

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

How Essential are Standard-Essential Patents?

Standard-essential patents (SEPs) cover technologies needed to make complex products like wi-fi. Patent trolls that assert SEPs in court win few cases, often because the patent was not actually infringed.

By: Mark Lemley, Tim S. Simcoe