TAP Scholars Work on Intellectual Property Issues

By TAP Staff Blogger

Posted on April 26, 2018


Today (April 26th) is World Intellectual Property Day. Designated in 2000 by the World Intellectual Property Organization, World IP Day was formed to learn about the role that intellectual property rights (patents, trademarks, industrial designs, copyright) play in encouraging innovation and creativity.


In honor of World IP Day, take a look at some of the articles published by TAP scholars to examine intellectual property (IP) issues as they relate to technology policy.


How Do Patents Affect Research Investments?
By Heidi Williams


Do patents benefit society by spurring innovation, or just enable some firms to profit? So far, the evidence does not show that disclosure of inventions in the patent process or stronger patent protection spur innovation. More research is needed.


Heidi Williams is the Class of 1957 Career Development Associate Professor (with tenure) in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Economics, and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). She studies how intellectual property rules, such as patents, encourage or discourage innovation in health care, from the development of new cancer treatments to the study of specific genes. Professor Williams is the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (2015) for her work that looks at the effects of patent policies and technology on medical research and health care.


Understanding the Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016
By Eric Goldman


The Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016 (CRFA) bars businesses from requiring their customers to agree not to post online reviews. These “anti-review” clauses prevented consumers from leaving feedback that would identify poorly run businesses.


Eric Goldman is a Professor of Law at Santa Clara University School of Law, where he is also Director of the school’s High Tech Law Institute. His research and teaching focuses on Internet law, intellectual property and marketing law. The California State Bar’s IP Section has named him an “IP Vanguard,” and Managing IP magazine twice named him to a shortlist of “IP Thought Leaders” in North America.


Strategies for Discerning the Boundaries of Copyright and Patent Protections
By Pamela Samuelson


Copyright law protects works of authorship, and utility patent law protects technological designs. Products like toys and software are sometimes eligible for both types of protection. Courts resist extending copyright and design patent protection simultaneously.


Pamela Samuelson is the Richard M. Sherman Distinguished Professor of Law and Information at the University of California, Berkeley. She is recognized as a pioneer in digital copyright law, intellectual property, cyberlaw and information policy. Since 1996, she has held a joint appointment at Berkeley Law School and UC Berkeley's School of Information, and she is a director of the internationally-renowned Berkeley Center for Law & Technology. The Anita Borg Institute honored Professor Samuelson with its Women of Vision Award for Social Impact in 2005, and the public interest organization Public Knowledge awarded her its IP3 Award for her contributions to Internet law and policy in October 2010.


Copyright's Framing Problem
By Margo Kaminski and Guy A. Rub


Many copyrighted works can be divided into smaller parts. A court’s decision to frame a copyright dispute by considering the whole work often yields a different outcome than considering only a part. Framing decisions are inconsistent. But taking a unified approach to framing makes little sense.


Margo Kaminski is an Associate Professor of Law at Colorado Law where she researches and writes on law and technology. Her work has focused on privacy, speech, and online civil liberties, in addition to international intellectual property law and legal issues raised by AI and robotics. Recently, Professor Kaminski was awarded the prestigious new Fulbright-Schuman Innovation Grant; she will be completing research for this project in Europe from January - June 2018.


Guy A. Rub is an Associate Professor of Law at the Moritz College of Law, Ohio State University.


Computers and Robots Don’t Count: In Copyright Law, It’s All About People
By James Grimmelmann


This article describes judge-made rules that shield copies automatically made by computers from liability for copyright infringement. Studying these cases can help decide more difficult cases involving machines such as killer robots.


James Grimmelmann is Professor of Law at Cornell Tech and Cornell Law School. He studies how the law governing the creation and use of computer software affects individual freedom and the distribution of wealth and power in society. As a lawyer and technologist, he helps these two groups understand each other by writing about copyright and digitization, the regulation of search engines, privacy on social networks, and other topics in computer and Internet law.


FRAND in India
By Daniel Sokol and Shubha Ghosh


Some patents must be licensed on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. In India, both the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and the courts have decided FRAND disputes. The CCI’s decisions lack detail and adopt different rules than the courts.


D. Daniel Sokol is the University of Florida Research Foundation Professor and University Term Professor at the University of Florida's Levin College of Law. Professor Sokol focuses his teaching and scholarship on complex business issues from early stage start-ups to large multinational businesses and the issues that businesses face: corporate governance, compliance, innovation, pricing strategies, and disparate business regulation around the world. In 2014, the Global Competition Review named Professor Sokol the Antitrust Academic of the Year in its award ceremony, the first non-PhD economist so honored.


Shubha Ghosh is Director of the Technology Commercialization Law Center and Crandall Melvin Professor of Law at Syracuse University College of Law.


Intellectual Property in the New Technological Age: 2016 - Chapters 1 and 2
By Mark Lemley, Peter Menell, and Robert Merges


These chapters of Intellectual Property in the New Technological Age: 2016 examine the justifications for intellectual property (IP) law, which includes trade secret, copyright, patent, and trademark law. Trade Secret law protects information used by a business from misappropriation.


Mark Lemley is the William H. Neukom Professor of Law at Stanford University, and he currently acts as the director of the Program in Law, Science & Technology, and the director of the LLM Program in Law, Science & Technology. His contributions to legal scholarship focus on how the economics and technology of the Internet affect patent law, copyright law, and trademark law. Widely recognized as a preeminent scholar of intellectual property law, Professor Lemley is an accomplished litigator—having litigated cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, the California Supreme Court, and federal circuit courts.


Peter Menell is the Koret Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. He has written extensively on intellectual property, cyberlaw, and environmental law, and has examined economic aspects of intellectual property and environmental regulation. Professor Menell founded and supervises the Annual Review of Law and Technology (now in its 11th year, published by the Berkeley Technology Law Journal) and founded the Annual Review of Environmental and Natural Resource Law (published by the Ecology Law Quarterly).


Robert Merges is the Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Professor of Law and Technology and co-director of the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology at the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to teaching and research projects, Professor Merges also serves as a special consultant to the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, and is a member of the Department's Task Force on Intellectual Property.


To see more TAP scholars with expertise in IP and view an extensive list of articles that examine the many facets of intellectual property, patents, copyright, and trademarks, see TAP’s intellectual property issues page.



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