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

Recent Papers from TAP Scholars Delve into AI’s Impact on Tech-policy Issues

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.

TAP Staff Blogger

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

Measuring the Private and Social Returns to R&D: Unintended Spillovers versus Technology Markets

Traditional methods of estimating returns to research and development (R&D) ignore gains from selling or licensing intellectual property. Counting these gains shows they are an important source of returns to R&D.

By: Daniel Spulber, Pere Arqué-Castells