The Public Perception of Intellectual Property

52 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2013 Last revised: 17 Jun 2016

See all articles by Gregory N. Mandel

Gregory N. Mandel

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law

Date Written: March 27, 2013


Though the success of intellectual property law depends upon its ability to affect human perception and behavior, the public psychology of intellectual property has barely been explored. Over 1,700 U.S. adults took part in an experimental study designed to investigate popular conceptions of intellectual property rights. Respondents’ views of what intellectual property rights ought to be differed substantially from what intellectual property law actually provides, and popular conceptions of the basis for intellectual property rights were contrary to commonly accepted bases relied upon in legal and policy decision-making. Linear regression analysis reveals previously unrecognized cultural divides concerning intellectual property law based upon respondents’ income, age, education, political ideology, and gender.

Keywords: intellectual property, psychology, patent, copyright

JEL Classification: O31, O34

Suggested Citation

Mandel, Gregory, The Public Perception of Intellectual Property (March 27, 2013). Florida Law Review, Vol. 66, No. 1, 2014, Available at SSRN: or

Gregory Mandel (Contact Author)

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law ( email )

1719 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States
(215) 204-2381 (Phone)

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