The Property Rights Movement and Intellectual Property

7 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2008  

Richard A. Epstein

New York University School of Law; Stanford University - Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace; University of Chicago - Law School

Abstract

The previous issue of Regulation contains a provocative attempt by University of California, Berkeley law professor Peter Menell to discredit what he calls the property rights movement (PRM) for its supposed "absolutist" stance on intellectual property. As part of the article, he asserts that I participate in (or perhaps even lead) a movement that poses a profound danger to the efficient operation of our complex system of intellectual property law, especially as it relates to patents and copyrights. In this article, I argue that this characterization is inaccurate. I believe that there are rights over intellectual property, but they differ in important ways from rights over real property.

Keywords: patents, injunction, absolute rights, equitable relief, genomic patents, water law, property rights, intellectual property, tangible property, infringement, policy, property rights movement, law

JEL Classification: K11, K23, K41, L12

Suggested Citation

Epstein, Richard A., The Property Rights Movement and Intellectual Property. Regulation, Vol. 30, No. 4, Winter 2007-2008; U of Chicago Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper No. 381. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1085411

Richard A. Epstein (Contact Author)

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012
United States
(212) 992-8858 (Phone)
(212) 995-4894 (Fax)

Stanford University - Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace

Stanford, CA 94305-6010
United States

University of Chicago - Law School ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-9563 (Phone)
773-702-0730 (Fax)

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