Robert Merges, ‘Philosophical Foundations of IP Law: The Law and Economics Paradigm’

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.

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).

First posted 2017-02-22 06:19:19

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