A Marketplace for Ideas?
New York University School of Law
University of Pennsylvania Law School; Bar Ilan University - Faculty of Law
Texas Law Review, Vol. 84, p. 397, 2005
NYU, Law and Economics Research Paper No. 05-28
Traditionally, patent protection extended only to full-fledged inventions. In recent years, however, the legal landscape has changed. Patent law is gradually extending its reach to cover "embryonic inventions," and even naked ideas. This Essay has two goals. The first is to present an economic case against extending property rights to embryonic inventions and ideas. Specifically, this Essay argues that property rights in ideas will hinder technological progress. This Essay's second goal is to propose an alternative legal regime that would enhance innovation. To this end, this Essay contemplates the possibility of formalizing a very limited and narrow legal entitlement in ideas in order to establish a marketplace where ideas may be exchanged. After rejecting existing models of property and intellectual property protection as the foundation for a market for ideas, we propose an original market design that could enhance innovation without impoverishing the public domain.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 37Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: December 7, 2005
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