Philosophical Foundations of IP Law: The Law and Economics Paradigm

Forthcoming in the Research Handbook on the Economics of IP Law (Peter S. Menell, Ben Depoorter, and David Schwartz, eds.), (Vol. I -- Theory) (Edward Elgar Publishing)

UC Berkeley Public Law Research Paper No. 2920713

34 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2017

See all articles by Robert P. Merges

Robert P. Merges

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law

Date Written: January 1, 2016

Abstract

This Chapter describes various philosophical perspectives on the law and economics paradigm in intellectual property. It begins with a description of utilitarianism, which is the philosophical foundation on which law and economics is built. It then describes an alternative way that law and economics can be understood: as a highly effective set of tools that are useful even if one is not convinced that intellectual property law can be justified at the foundational level by a utilitarian account. Various alternatives to foundational utilitarianism are described; the Chapter seeks to explain how a law and economics approach to issues in the IP field is consistent with these alternative foundational justifications for IP law.

Keywords: intellectual property, law and economics, jurisprudence

Suggested Citation

Merges, Robert P., Philosophical Foundations of IP Law: The Law and Economics Paradigm (January 1, 2016). Forthcoming in the Research Handbook on the Economics of IP Law (Peter S. Menell, Ben Depoorter, and David Schwartz, eds.), (Vol. I -- Theory) (Edward Elgar Publishing); UC Berkeley Public Law Research Paper No. 2920713. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2920713

Robert P. Merges (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law ( email )

215 Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States
510-643-6199 (Phone)
510-643-6171 (Fax)

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