The Constitutional Foundations of Intellectual Property

The Free State Foundation, 'Perspectives from FSF Scholars', Vol. 8, No. 13, May 10, 2013

5 Pages Posted: 30 Jul 2013  

Randolph J. May

The Free State Foundation

Seth Cooper

The Free State Foundation

Date Written: May 2013

Abstract

This is the first in a series of relatively short papers exploring foundational principles of intellectual property. This essay explores the Lockean natural rights philosophical premises upon which the foundation of the Constitution's IP Clause rests. The American constitutional order is premised on the idea that government exists to protect life, liberty, and property, and our Framers were influenced significantly by John Locke's assertion that individuals possess a natural right to the fruits of their own labor. The essay shows that James Madison, principal drafter of our Constitution, embraced the Lockean view concerning property rights protection.

Keywords: intellectual property, natural rights, IP protection, Intellectual Property Clause, John Locke, James Madison

JEL Classification: K11

Suggested Citation

May, Randolph J. and Cooper, Seth, The Constitutional Foundations of Intellectual Property (May 2013). The Free State Foundation, 'Perspectives from FSF Scholars', Vol. 8, No. 13, May 10, 2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2302869

Randolph J. May (Contact Author)

The Free State Foundation ( email )

P. O. Box 60680
Potomac, MD 20859
United States
301-299-3182 (Phone)
301-299-5007 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.freestatefoundation.org

Seth Cooper

The Free State Foundation ( email )

P.O. Box 60680
Potomac, MD 20859
United States
301-299-3182 (Phone)
301-299-5007 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.freestatefoundation.org

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