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

Patent Data Missing in Troll Debate

"Right now it's like the fear of the unknown -- we actually don't know that much about patents despite a large amount of study." — Daniel Spulber, Research Director, Searle Center on Law, Regulation and Economic Growth


Daniel Spulber
Source: EE Times
March 12, 2014

Siding With Google, Judge Says Book Search Does Not Infringe Copyright

“What seemed insanely ambitious and this huge effort that seemed very dangerous in 2004 now seems ordinary. Technology and media have moved on so much that it’s just not a big deal.” — James Grimmelmann, Law professor, University of Maryland


James Grimmelmann
Source: The New York Times
November 14, 2013

Everything You Think You Know About Thomas Edison Might Be Wrong

“Edison did not ‘invent’ the light bulb in any meaningful sense. What Edison really did well was commercialize the invention.” — Mark Lemley, Professor, Stanford University


Mark Lemley
Source: U.S. Science News
November 10, 2013

In Battle Against Patent Abuse, Vermont Is Troll Hunting

"The problems the patent system is seeing now date back to the 1990s, when high-growth Internet and computer technology companies filed for thousands of patents that now seem over-broad and outdated." — James Bessen, Lecturer, Boston University School of Law


James Bessen
Source: Vermont’s NPR News Source
September 30, 2013

Record Label Picks Copyright Fight — With The Wrong Guy

"What we've got is this computerized system threatening people about content that's on the Web, much of it legally on the Web." — Lawrence Lessig, Professor of Law, Harvard University


Lawrence Lessig
Source: National Public Radio’s All Tech Considered
September 27, 2013

If Our Top Patent Court Screws Up Slipper Patents, How Can It Rule Sensibly on Smartphones?

"Like its utility patent doctrines, the Federal Circuit's design patent doctrines systematically uphold patents that should never have been granted in the first place, giving trolls and titans the ability to extort settlements and muscle out the competition." — James Grimmelmann, Director of the Intellectual Property Program, University of Maryland


James Grimmelmann
Source: The Washington Post
September 24, 2013

Apple Wins Patent Ruling Against Samsung

"Coupled with the veto, it definitely puts Samsung back on the defensive." — Mark Lemley, Professor, Stanford Law School


Mark Lemley
Source: Chicago Tribune
August 9, 2013

Patent Case Has Potential to Give Apple the Upper Hand

The article details the upcoming ruling expected from the U.S. International Trade Commission on whether it will uphold a preliminary finding that Samsung mobile products violated a handful of Apple patents. Professor Robert Merges, Berkeley Center for Law & Technology, is quoted.


Robert Merges
Source: The New York Times
August 8, 2013

Apple, Samsung's Next Big Showdown Could Reshape Patent Law

"It could fundamentally change the way the patent system works in the (technology) industries." — Mark Lemley, Professor, Stanford Law School


Mark Lemley
Source: Silicon Valley
August 6, 2013

Microsoft to Drop ‘SkyDrive’ in Trademark Settlement

“The idea that consumers would be confused into thinking that SkyDrive and British Sky Broadcasting were the same thing is ludicrous. ... I think Microsoft simply decided that keeping the name wasn’t worth the additional time and uncertainty of an appeal.” — Mark Lemley, Professor, Stanford Law School


Mark Lemley
Source: The Seattle Times
August 1, 2013
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TAP Blog

The Importance of Markets for Technology for Innovation – New Study by Daniel Spulber and Pere Arque'-Castells

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.

TAP Staff Blogger

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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

From Trade Secrecy to Seclusion

Traditionally, trade secret law protected innovations from misappropriation by departing employees. Now, however, trade secret claims are often used to conceal information of public concern.

By: Sonia Katyal, Charles Tait Graves