Intellectual Property Channeling for Digital Works

56 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2017 Last revised: 25 Jun 2017

Lucas Osborn

Campbell University Law School

Date Written: April 12, 2017


Market economies are based on free competition, which can include copying. Yet intellectual property protection in the United States prohibits copying in certain circumstances to incentivize innovation and creativity. New breeds of digital works are challenging our historical application of intellectual property law. These include certain categories of software programs as well as digital manufacturing files. The problem is that these new works look deceptively like works from a previous era, and thus courts might languorously treat them as they have older works. This would be a mistake. This Article analyzes these works in terms of existing intellectual property doctrine and constructs a normative framework for channeling the works among the different intellectual property regimes and even away from intellectual property protection altogether.

Keywords: Copyright, Patent, Trademark, Contract, Digital, Intellectual Property, 3D Printing, Software

Suggested Citation

Osborn, Lucas, Intellectual Property Channeling for Digital Works (April 12, 2017). Cardozo Law Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN:

Lucas Osborn (Contact Author)

Campbell University Law School ( email )

United States
919-865-4673 (Phone)

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