Chapter 1 Intellectual property as property
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This chapter explores how aspects of property jurisprudence apply to fields of law that have come to be known as ‘intellectual property’ or ‘IP.’ It aims to illustrate both the relevance of enduring property themes to these areas of law and the ways in which intangible things resist easy analogies to tangible property. The chapter first tackles the question whether IP should be considered property at all, in light of differences between tangible resources and intellectual works. Finding the property frame a useful one despite these differences, the chapter proceeds by exploring three themes important to the analysis of tangible property that can usefully be brought to bear on IP: the role of possession in establishing and signaling property rights, the problem of information costs related to property rights, and the relationship between property rights and time.