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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“Aaron's law,” Congressional Investigation in Wake of Swartz Suicide

"This is a CRITICALLY important change that would do incredible good. The CFAA was the hook for the government's bullying of @aaronsw. This law would remove that hook." — Lawrence Lessig, Professor, Harvard University

Lawrence Lessig
Source: Ars Technica
January 15, 2013

Apple Bid for Samsung Sales Ban Faces Skeptical Court

"It will be hard to convince the Federal Circuit to revisit the injunction issue because the legal arguments involved are not among those that have caused the most recent controversy at the court." — R. Polk Wagner, Professor, University of Pennsylvania

R. Polk Wagner
Source: Reuters
January 7, 2013

Pivotal Patent Case Heads to Court

Robert Barr
Source: The Wall Street Journal
November 11, 2012

Pivotal Patent Case Heads to Court

Mark Lemley
Source: The Wall Street Journal
November 11, 2012

Bad Uses of Good Laws

Tim Wu
Source: The New York Times “Room for Debate”
October 10, 2012

When the Law Is Not Just for Oligarchs

Siva Vaidhyanathan
Source: The New York Times “Room for Debate”
October 10, 2012

Google Books Deal Bolsters Dream of Universal Bookstore

"The publishers have embraced the digital transition in books; Google is now a player and partner in that ecosystem, rather than a dangerous disruptive presence." — James Grimmelmann, Professor of Law, New York University

James Grimmelmann
Source: Time
October 7, 2012

The Patent, Used as a Sword

James Bessen
Source: The New York Times
October 7, 2012
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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

Reconceptualizing Copyright's Merger Doctrine

The “Merger Doctrine” is a defense to a charge of copyright infringement. Some ideas can only be expressed a certain way; courts say that the idea merges with the author’s choice of expression. Merger is important in many cases, including those involving software and depictions of nature.

By: Pamela Samuelson