) is a
number of distinct types of legal monopolies
of the mind, both artistic and commercial, and the corresponding
fields of law. Under intellectual property law, owners are granted
certain exclusive rights
variety of intangible assets, such as musical, literary, and
artistic works; discoveries and inventions; and words, phrases,
symbols, and designs. Common types of intellectual property include
industrial design rights
Although many of the legal principles governing intellectual
property have evolved over centuries, it was not until the 19th
century that the term intellectual property
began to be
used, and not until the late 20th century that it became
commonplace in the United States.
These exclusive rights allow owners of intellectual property to
reap monopoly profits
monopoly profits provide a financial incentive for the creation of
intellectual property, and pay associated research and development
Some commentators, such as David
and Michele Boldrin
dispute this justification.
The legal monopoly
granted by IP laws are
credited with significant contributions toward economic growth.
Economists estimate that two-thirds of the value of large
businesses in the U.S. can be traced to intangible assets.
"IP-intensive industries" are estimated to produce 72 percent more
value added per employee than "non-IP-intensive industries". A
joint research project of the WIPO
United Nations University
measuring the impact of IP systems on six Asian countries found "a
positive correlation between the strengthening of the IP system and
subsequent economic growth."
However, correlation does not necessarily mean causation: given
that the patent holders can freely relocate, the Nash equilibrium
predicts they will
obviously prefer operating in countries with strong IP laws. In
some of the cases, the economic growth that comes with a stronger
IP system is due to increase in stock capital from direct foreign
Intellectual property rights are temporary monopolies
enforced by the state regarding use of
expressions and ideas.
Intellectual property rights are usually limited to non-rival goods
, that is, goods which
can be used or enjoyed by many people simultaneously—the use by one
person does not exclude use by another. This is compared to rival
goods, such as clothing, which may only be used by one person at a
time. For example, any number of people may make use of a
mathematical formula simultaneously. Some objections to the term
are based on the argument that
can only properly be applied to rival goods (or
that one cannot "own" property of this sort).
Since a non-rival good may be used (copied, for example) by many
simultaneously (produced with minimal marginal cost
), producers would need
incentives other than money to create such works. Monopolies, by
contrast, also have inefficiencies (producers will charge more and
produce less than would be socially desirable).
The establishment of intellectual property rights, therefore,
represents a trade-off, to balance the interest of society in the
creation of non-rival goods (by encouraging their production) with
the problems of monopoly power. Since the trade-off and the
relevant benefits and costs to society will depend on many factors
that may be specific to each product and society, the optimum
period of time during which the temporary monopoly rights should
exist is unclear.
usage of the term intellectual property goes back at least
as far as 1888 with the founding in Berne of the
Federal Office for Intellectual Property (the Bureau
fédéral de la propriété intellectuelle).
administrative secretariats established by the Paris
(1883) and the
(1886) merged in 1893, they also located in
Berne, and also adopted the term intellectual property in their new
combined title, the
United International Bureaux for the Protection of Intellectual
. The organisation subsequently relocated to Geneva in
1960, and was succeeded in 1967 with the establishment of the
Intellectual Property Organization
as an agency of the United
. According to Lemley, it was only at this point that
the term really began to be used in the United States (which had
not been a party to the Berne Convention), and it did not enter
popular usage until passage of the Bayh-Dole Act
The concept appears to have made its first appearance after the
French revolution. In an 1818 collection of his writings, the
French liberal theorist, Benjamin
, argued against the recently-introduced idea of
"property which has been called intellectual." The term
can be found used in an October 1845
Massachusetts Circuit Court ruling in the patent case Davoll et al. v. Brown.
, in which Justice
Charles L. Woodbury
wrote that "only in this way
can we protect intellectual property, the labors of the mind,
productions and interests are as much a man's own...as the wheat he
cultivates, or the flocks he rears." (1 Woodb. &
M. 53, 3 West.L.J. 151, 7 F.Cas. 197,
No. 3662, 2 Robb.Pat.Cas. 303, Merw.Pat.Inv.
). The statement that "discoveries are...property" goes
back earlier. Section 1 of the French law of 1791 stated, "All new
discoveries are the property of the author; to assure the inventor
the property and temporary enjoyment of his discovery, there shall
be delivered to him a patent for five, ten or fifteen years."
French author A.
Nion mentioned propriété
in his Droits civils des auteurs, artistes
, published in 1846.
The concept's origins can potentially be traced back further.
considerations whose effects are similar to those of modern
intellectual property laws, though the notion of intellectual
creations as property does not seem to exist – notably the
principle of Hasagat Ge'vul (unfair encroachment) was used to
justify limited-term publisher (but not author) copyright in the
16th century. The Talmud
prohibitions against certain mental crimes (further elaborated in
the Shulchan Aruch
), notably Geneivat da'at
(גניבת דעת, literally "mind
theft"), which some have interpreted as prohibiting theft of ideas,
though the doctrine is principally concerned with fraud
and James Madison
, drafters of the Copyright Clause
, were both quite skeptical
to the monopolies of copyright, and monopolies of patents, and
wrote extensively on the subject.
The term itself
although the term intellectual property
is in wide use, it
should be rejected altogether, because it "systematically distorts
and confuses these issues, and its use was and is promoted by those
who gain from this confusion." He claims that the term "operates as
a catch-all to lump together disparate laws [which] originated
separately, evolved differently, cover different activities, have
different rules, and raise different public policy issues."
Stallman advocates referring to copyrights, patents and trademarks
in the singular and warns against abstracting disparate laws into a
Some critics of intellectual property, such as those in the
free culture movement
as harming health, preventing progress, and
benefiting concentrated interests to the detriment of the masses,
and argue that the public interest is harmed by ever expansive
monopolies in the form of copyright
, software patents
and business method
Other criticism of intellectual property law concerns the tendency
of the protections of intellectual property to expand, both in
duration and in scope. The trend has been toward longer copyright
protection (raising fears that it may some day be eternal ). In
addition, the developers and controllers of items of intellectual
property have sought to bring more items under the protection.
Patents have been granted for living organisms, and colors have
been trademarked. Because they are systems of government-granted monopolies
copyrights, patents, and trademarks are called intellectual monopoly
, (IMP) a topic on which several academics, including
Birgitte Andersen and Thomas Alured
- Intellectual Property Licensing: Forms and Analysis, by
Raysman, Edward A. Pisacreta and Kenneth A. Adler. Law Journal
Press, 1999-2008. ISBN 973-58852-086-9
- " property as a common descriptor of the field probably traces
to the foundation of the World Intellectual
Property Organization (WIPO) by the United Nations." in Mark A.
Lemley, Property, Intellectual Property, and Free
Riding, Texas Law Review, 2005, Vol. 83:1031, page 1033,
- Economic Effects of Intellectual Property-Intensive
Manufacturing in the United States, Robert Shapiro and Nam
Pham, July 2007 (archived on archive.org).
- Measuring the Economic Impact of IP Systems, WIPO,
- Padraig Dixon and Christine Greenhalgh, The
Economics of Intellectual Property: A Review to Identify Themes for
Future Research, Oxford Intellectual Property Research Centre,
Oxford, United Kingdom, November 2002.
- Mark A. Lemley, "Property, Intellectual Property, and Free Riding"
(Abstract); see Table 1: 4-5.
- Benjamin de Constant de Rebecque, Collection complète des ouvrages publiés sur le
gouvernement représentatif et la constitution actuelle de la
France: formant une espèce de cours de politique
constitutionnelle, P. Plancher, 1818, p. 296.
- A Brief History of the Patent Law of the United
- Jewish Law and Copyright
- The New York Sun Fighting for Intellectual
- On patents -
- E.g., the U.S. Copyright Term Extension Act,
- Mark Helprin, Op-ed: A Great Idea Lives Forever. Shouldn’t Its Copyright?
The New York Times, May 20, 2007.
- Eldred v. Ashcroft 
- Council for Responsible Genetics, DNA Patents Create Monopolies on Living Organisms.
- For example, AstraZeneca holds a registered trademark to the
color purple, as used in pill capsules. AstraZeneca, Nexium: Legal. Accessed 2008.12.18.
- Birgitte Andersen. Intellectual Property Right’ Or
‘IntellectualMonopoly Privilege’: Which One Should PatentAnalysts
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monopoly privileges and the need for essential medicines
Globalization and Health 2007, 3:4doi:10.1186/1744-8603-3-4.
http://www.globalizationandhealth.com/content/3/1/4 "Balancing the
need to protect the intellectual property rights (IPRs) ("which the
third author considers are more accurately described as
intellectual monopoly privileges (IMPs)) of pharmaceutical
companies, with the need to ensure access to essential medicines in
developing countries is one of the most pressing challenges facing
international policy makers today.")
- Krattiger et al 2007 "Intellectual Property Management in
Health and Agricultural Innovation: A Handbook of Best Practices",
Innovation for a Better World
- Arai, Hisamitsu. "Intellectual Property Policies for the
Twenty-First Century: The Japanese Experience in Wealth Creation",
WIPO Publication Number 834 (E). 2000. 
- Boldrin, Michele and David K. Levine. "Against Intellectual
Monopoly", 2008. 
- Hahn, Robert W., Intellectual Property Rights in Frontier
Industries: Software and Biotechnology, AEI Press, March
- Branstetter, Lee, Raymond Fishman and C. Fritz Foley. "Do
Stronger Intellectual Property Rights Increase International
Technology Transfer? Empirical Evidence from US Firm-Level Data".
NBER Working Paper 11516. July 2005. 
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Intellectual Property". Journal of Libertarian Studies
15.2 (Spring 2001): 1-53. 
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in the Global Economy". Princeton University. April 2001. 
- Lee, Richmond. Scope and Interplay of IP Rights ACCRALAW
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How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and
Control Creativity". New York: Penguin Press, 2004. .
- Lindberg, Van. Intellectual Property and Open Source: A
Practical Guide to Protecting Code. O'Reilly Books, 2008. ISBN
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Development". Case Western Reserve Journal of International
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- Mazzone, Jason. " Copyfraud". Brooklyn Law School, Legal Studies
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- Miller, Arthur Raphael, and Michael H. Davis. Intellectual
Property: Patents, Trademarks, and Copyright. 3rd ed. New
York: West/Wadsworth, 2000. ISBN 0-314-23519-1.
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- Schechter, Roger E., and John R. Thomas. Intellectual
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