Systems of Intellectual Capital

15 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2015

See all articles by Brett M. Frischmann

Brett M. Frischmann

Villanova University - School of Law

Mark P. McKenna

Notre Dame Law School

Date Written: August 27, 2015


This essay reviews Orly Lobel's article The New Cognitive Property: Human Capital Law and the Reach of Intellectual Property. It commends Professor Lobel for outlining the contours of the “new” field of human capital law, and for emphasizing the potential consequences of the growing enclosure of cognitive capacities in contemporary markets. From this starting point the essay makes two modest suggestions for researchers. First, it suggests that those building on Lobel’s work consider more contextual description and evaluation of human and intellectual capital production systems. Doing so would avoid overly abstract, macro-level analysis that is often divorced from reality and from the critical nuances that shape actors’ individual and collective motivations and behavior. It would also avoid excessive reliance on overly specific, micro-level analysis, which can be anecdotal. Second, the essay emphasizes the importance of establishing normative baselines prior to evaluating or prescribing reform.

Keywords: human capital, intellectual capital, intellectual property, innovation

Suggested Citation

Frischmann, Brett M. and McKenna, Mark P., Systems of Intellectual Capital (August 27, 2015). Texas Law Review See Also, Vol. 93, p. 231, 2015. Available at SSRN:

Brett M. Frischmann

Villanova University - School of Law ( email )

299 N. Spring Mill Road
Villanova, PA 19085
United States

Mark P. McKenna (Contact Author)

Notre Dame Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 780
Notre Dame, IN 46556-0780
United States
(574) 631-9258 (Phone)

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics