The Economic Structure of Intellectual Property Law

Front Cover
This book takes a fresh look at the most dynamic area of American law today, comprising the fields of copyright, patent, trademark, trade secrecy, publicity rights, and misappropriation. Topics range from copyright in private letters to defensive patenting of business methods, from moral rights in the visual arts to the banking of trademarks, from the impact of the court of patent appeals to the management of Mickey Mouse. The history and political science of intellectual property law, the challenge of digitization, the many statutes and judge-made doctrines, and the interplay with antitrust principles are all examined. The treatment is both positive (oriented toward understanding the law as it is) and normative (oriented to the reform of the law). Previous analyses have tended to overlook the paradox that expanding intellectual property rights can effectively reduce the amount of new intellectual property by raising the creators' input costs. Those analyses have also failed to integrate the fields of intellectual property law. They have failed as well to integrate intellectual property law with the law of physical property, overlooking the many economic and legal-doctrinal parallels. This book demonstrates the fundamental economic rationality of intellectual property law, but is sympathetic to critics who believe that in recent decades Congress and the courts have gone too far in the creation and protection of intellectual property rights.
 

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This book, with its pragmatic, economic, and emphasis on maximizing social welfare, introduces, explains, illustrates, supports, questions, and criticizes the history, development, present status, and future of the major "branches" of Intellectual Property Law in the United States in a concise yet thorough manner.
I highly recommend it to anyone remotely interested in publishing, in the creation of music or any other form of art, in technology, in law, in politics, in education, in business, in culture, in industry, and in the future of the United States itself.
 

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Chapter:
The Political Economy of Intell. Prop.
Subjects:
public theory, workings of demand and supply in IP

Contents

Introduction
1
The Economic Theory of Property
11
How to Think about Copyright
37
A Formal Model of Copyright
71
Basic Copyright Doctrines
85
Copyright in Unpublished Works
124
Fair Use Parody and Burlesque
147
The Economics of Trademark Law
166
The Economics of Patent Law
294
The Patent Court A Statistical Evaluation
334
The Economics of Trade Secrecy Law
354
Antitrust and Intellectual Property
372
The Political Economy of Intellectual Property Law
403
Conclusion
420
Acknowledgments
425
Case Index
427

The Optimal Duration of Copyrights and Trademarks
210
The Legal Protection of Postmodern Art
254
Moral Rights and the Visual Artists Rights Act
270

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About the author (2003)

William M. Landes is Clifton R. Musser Professor Emeritus of Law and Economics at the University of Chicago Law School.

William M. Landes is Clifton R. Musser Professor Emeritus of Law and Economics at the University of Chicago Law School.

Richard A. Posner retired as a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in 2017. He is a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School.

Richard A. Posner retired as a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in 2017. He is a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School.

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