Intellectual Property: Theory, Privilege, and Pragmatism

Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, Vol. 16, No. 2, pp. 191-216, July 2003

26 Pages Posted: 16 Dec 2005 Last revised: 6 Mar 2018

See all articles by Adam D. Moore

Adam D. Moore

University of Washington - The Information School

Date Written: December 15, 2011

Abstract

In the most general terms, this article focuses on the tension between competing justifications of intellectual property. Section I examines the nature and definition of economic pragmatism and argues that, while economic pragmatism comes in many flavors, each is either unstable or self-defeating. Section II advances the view that Anglo-American systems of intellectual property have both theoretical and pragmatic features. In Section III a sketch of a theory is offered - a theory that may limit applications of economic pragmatism and provide the foundation for copyright, patent, and trade secret institutions. To be justified - to warrant coercion on a worldwide scale - systems of intellectual property should be grounded in theory. Intellectual property rights are, in essence, no different than our rights to life, liberty, and tangible property. Intellectual property rights are neither pure social constructions nor bargains without foundations.

Keywords: intellectual property, John Locke, pragmatism

Suggested Citation

Moore, Adam D., Intellectual Property: Theory, Privilege, and Pragmatism (December 15, 2011). Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, Vol. 16, No. 2, pp. 191-216, July 2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=528229

Adam D. Moore (Contact Author)

University of Washington - The Information School ( email )

Box 352840
Mary Gates Hall, Ste. 370
Seattle, WA 98195
206.685.9937 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://ischool.uw.edu

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
1,212
Abstract Views
1,459
rank
16,082
PlumX Metrics