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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Quotes

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
Source: NPR
July 16, 2022

Waymo Sues State DMV to Keep Robotaxi Safety Details Secret

“Corporate and government actors have pushed to transform the law of trade secrecy into one of the most — if not the most — powerful tools to ensure concealment of information.” — Sonia Katyal, Professor of Law, UC Berkeley


Sonia Katyal
Source: Los Angeles Times
January 28, 2022

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
Source: Ars Technica
October 8, 2020

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
Source: Ars Technica
June 1, 2020

Louis C.K. Is Trying to Outlaw Leaks. Can He Do That?

"It’s overreaching in terms of copyright law. The law grants certain rights, but it withholds certain others." — Jeanne Fromer, Professor of Law, New York University


Jeanne Fromer
Source: The New York Times
May 9, 2019

Changing U.S. Patent Policy on Tech Standards Stirs Concerns

"The best way to resolve this issue is not to change policy approaches." — Mark Lemley, Professor of Law, Stanford University


Mark Lemley
Source: Bloomberg Law
December 26, 2018

Our Pick of the Decade’s Eight Best Young Economists

The Economist names MIT’s Heidi Williams among "the decade's eight best young economists." Professor Williams is lauded for her pursuit of a "more rigorous understanding of technological progress in medicine and health care."


Heidi Williams
Source: The Economist
December 18, 2018

Buying Bitcoin Led Patent Mega-Millionaire to an Even Bigger Investing Idea

"If they can screen out bad patents, the application becomes more attractive to potential licensees. The value of his system is how much noise there is. I know there's lots of bad patents out there." — Mark Schankerman, Professor of Economics, London School of Economics


Mark Schankerman
Source: CNBC
January 12, 2018

Patent ‘Trolls’ Recede as Threat to Innovation. Will Justices Change That?

"It probably hasn’t made patent trolls go away, but it’s changed their demands. Now they sue and ask for $50,000 rather than sue and ask for $1 million." — Mark Lemley, Professor of Law, Stanford University


Mark Lemley
Source: The New York Times
November 21, 2017

In Michigan, A Highway Sign Is at Center of an Unusual Trademark Dispute

"But there's at least a question, as far as I can tell, as to whether a road sign of this type would be deemed an official insignia of a state. I think that might be a little bit hard for the state to prove here." — Mark Janis, Professor of Law, Indiana University


Mark Janis
Source: National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition
November 1, 2016
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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

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.

Featured Article

It’s Time to Update Section 230

The 1996 Communications Decency Act (CDA) makes online platforms immune from liability for harmful content posted by third parties. Platforms should enjoy immunity only if the platform takes reasonable steps to prevent harm.

By: Marshall Van Alstyne, Michael D. Smith