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

Daniel Spulber Provides Insights into the Value of Patents

Two papers by Professor Daniel Spulber look at the interplay of the economic benefit of patents and the public policies that impact the development of innovation.

TAP Staff Blogger

Upcoming Events

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Quote

The Best Way to Fight a Patent Demand May Be to Do Nothing

"Research suggests that the harms from patent demands often flow not from the fact of being sued, but from being in a drawn-out, expensive dispute. Stories of small companies winning in the courtroom, but spending so much time and money on a case that they damage their business, are unfortunately commonplace." — Colleen Chien, Professor of Law, Santa Clara University

Colleen Chien
Wall Street Journal
November 23, 2015

Featured Article

A Brief Survey of the Economics of Open Source Software

This paper reviews some key economic aspects of Open Source Software (OSS).

By: Neil Gandal, Chaim Fershtman