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
Date Written: September 13, 2016
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: Suggested Citation