Reverse Engineering IP

42 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2013

Date Written: February 28, 2013


For appropriation art of all types to survive an infringement inquiry, the resulting work must be creative, original, and transformative. However, the line between uses deemed infringing or fair is far from bright, at least in exante determinations by second-generation creators who rely on copyright limitations in the creative process. Accordingly, this Article examines the role that “reverse engineering” and other policies and doctrines have played in the inventive context to protect the “space” such second-generation innovators require to build upon and around existing inventions that justify the patent monopoly. Further, this Article explores how patent policy better protects and encourages that space than does copyright, theoretically and in practice.

Keywords: copyright, intellectual property, internet, digital technology, infringement, patent

JEL Classification: K10

Suggested Citation

Evans, Tonya, Reverse Engineering IP (February 28, 2013). Marquette Intellectual Property Law Review, Vol. 17, No. 1, 2013, Widener Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 13-22, Available at SSRN:

Tonya Evans (Contact Author)

Penn State Dickinson Law ( email )

150 S College St
Carlisle, PA 17013
United States

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