Experiments in Intellectual Property

Forthcoming in Research Handbook on the Economics of Intellectual Property Law (Vol. II -- Analytical Methods) Peter Menell & David Schwartz, eds. (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2016).

29 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2016

See all articles by Christopher Buccafusco

Christopher Buccafusco

Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

Christopher Jon Sprigman

New York University (NYU) - Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy

Date Written: September 13, 2016

Abstract

Perhaps more than any other area, intellectual property (IP) law is grounded in assumptions about how people behave. These assumptions involve how creators respond to incentives, how rights are licensed in markets, and how people decide whether to innovate or borrow from the culture and technologies that they see around them. Until recently, there had been little effort to validate any of these assumptions. Fortunately, the last decade has witnessed significant interest in empirically testing IP law’s foundations.

This Chapter discusses the use of experimental and survey methods to understand how various features of copyright and patent law affect behavior. These methods are a valuable addition to the empirical toolkit, because they allow researchers to ask and answer questions that are not generally possible to approach with other empirical strategies. We first discuss some of the advantages of using experimental research. Then we highlight some of the findings that this research has produced in the copyright and patent fields thus far. Finally, we explore a variety of methodological issues that experimental researchers face.

Keywords: Incentives, hindsight, optimism, creativity, innovation, value, attribution, moral, threshold, sequential, open source, norms, copyright, patent, IP, intellectual property, law and economics

Suggested Citation

Buccafusco, Christopher J. and Sprigman, Christopher Jon, Experiments in Intellectual Property (September 13, 2016). Forthcoming in Research Handbook on the Economics of Intellectual Property Law (Vol. II -- Analytical Methods) Peter Menell & David Schwartz, eds. (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2016).. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2838317 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2838317

Christopher J. Buccafusco (Contact Author)

Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law ( email )

55 Fifth Ave.
New York, NY 10003
United States

Christopher Jon Sprigman

New York University (NYU) - Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy ( email )

New York, NY
United States

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