This chapter describes various philosophical perspectives on the law and economics paradigm in intellectual property (IP). 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 IP 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.
Robert P. Merges and Amy L. Landers
This research review examines the many facets of the public domain. It discusses key papers whose topics are the various justifications for a rich repository of publicly available information, including policies favouring robust competition, free speech, and scientific and technological advances. It also explores problems in ensuring access to public domain works, as well as commons management mechanisms. Perspectives on the dynamic between the public domain and the creation of new works are also presented. This research review is an insightful resource for students and researchers, with a consideration of the public domain as an important topic in its own right as well as information on the underlying rationales of intellectual property law.