Reconfiguring Intellectual Property for the Information Age: Towards Information Property?
Nanyang Business School, Business Law Division Working Paper No. 4/2003
63 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2004
Date Written: October 23, 2003
There is growing recognition of the incongruence of the classical categories of IP to current technological advances. The literature for alternative means of IP protection is also in abundance. Voices in industry and academe have repeatedly called for a rethink and, often, a "comprehensive solution". This paper investigates whether a reconfiguration of classical forms of IP protection is possible. After reviewing the crisis in the state of evolution of IP in the context of the changes in forms of creativity and the role of creators, the paper proposes a shift in approach from mercantile-era forms of intellectual property (limited to self-contained units of creativity) to that encompassing all forms (and, hence, information property as an integral subject).
The paper argues that the transition to information property will constitute a systemic overhaul of current forms of IP. Firstly, it will overcome the inherent limitations and biases that current forms of IP have towards information that cannot be pigeonholed in any of the four long-standing categories. Secondly, it simplifies the broad types of subject matter eligible for protection. The suggested forms of protection rely on the three basic areas of creativity, namely inventions, expressions and images. Thirdly, it helps establish uniformity in determination of scopes of rights, transition into the public domain and the unresolved issue of the overlap between proprietary rights and "Lex Informatica".
Keywords: Intellectual property, information property, inventions, expressions, images, information, mercantile
JEL Classification: K11, L11, L51, O34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation