Introduction: Values, Questions, and Methods in Intellectual Property

11 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2016

See all articles by Jeremy N. Sheff

Jeremy N. Sheff

St. John's University School of Law

Date Written: November 16, 2016


This Introduction to the St. John's Intellectual Property Law Center/St. John's Law Review Symposium assesses the state of IP scholarship. It argues that justifications for -- or critiques of -- intellectual property necessarily entail contestable value judgments, and that scholars should calibrate the ambitions of their scholarship accordingly. In particular, it argues that empirical scholarship is unable to settle ultimate questions regarding the normative justification of intellectual property rights, though it can be helpful in answering subsidiary questions. Because contestable value judgments are inevitable in the evaluation of intellectual property rights, scholars ought to engage as broad an array of normative perspectives as possible, work to formulate questions that can provide useful insight on those perspectives, and tailor our methods to suit the questions for which we can offer useful answers.

Suggested Citation

Sheff, Jeremy N., Introduction: Values, Questions, and Methods in Intellectual Property (November 16, 2016). St. John's Law Review, Forthcoming, St. John's Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2870068, Available at SSRN:

Jeremy N. Sheff (Contact Author)

St. John's University School of Law ( email )

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718-990-5504 (Phone)

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