Intellectual Property for Market Experimentation

74 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2008 Last revised: 17 Dec 2017

See all articles by Michael Abramowicz

Michael Abramowicz

George Washington University Law School

John F. Duffy

University of Virginia School of Law


Intellectual property protects investments in the production of information, but the literature on the topic has largely neglected one type of information that intellectual property might protect: information about the market success of goods and services. A first entrant into a market often cannot prevent other firms from free-riding on information about consumer demand and market feasibility. Despite the existence of some first-mover advantages, the incentives to be the first entrant into a market may sometimes be inefficiently low, thereby giving rise to a net first-mover disadvantage and discouraging innovation. Intellectual property may counteract this inefficiency by providing market exclusivity, thus promoting earlier market entry and increasing the level of entrepreneurial activity in the economy. The goal of encouraging market experimentation helps to explain certain puzzling aspects of intellectual property doctrine and provides a coherent basis for appreciating some of the current criticisms of intellectual property rights.

Keywords: Intellectual Property, Innovation, Market Experimentation, Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurial, Hayek, Schumpeter, Knight, Patent, Copyright, Trademark, Trade Secret, Development, First-mover advantage

JEL Classification: O34, O31, K00, K11, K20, K23, L11, L15, L43, L52

Suggested Citation

Abramowicz, Michael B. and Duffy, John Fitzgerald, Intellectual Property for Market Experimentation. New York University Law Review, Forthcoming, GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 396, GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 396, Available at SSRN:

Michael B. Abramowicz

George Washington University Law School ( email )

2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
United States

John Fitzgerald Duffy (Contact Author)

University of Virginia School of Law ( email )

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States
434-243-8544 (Phone)


Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics