Vol 1: Theory Vol 2: Analytical Methods
Edited by Ben Depoorter, Peter Menell and David Schwartz
Chapter 26: Experiments in intellectual property
Perhaps more than any other area, intellectual property (IP) law is grounded in assumptions about how people behave. These assumptions involve how creators respond to incentives, how rights are licensed in markets, and how people decide whether to innovate or borrow from existing culture and technology. Until recently, there had been little effort to validate any of these assumptions. Fortunately, the last decade has witnessed significant interest in empirically testing IP law’s foundations. This chapter discusses the use of experimental and survey methods to understand how various features of copyright and patent law affect behavior. These methods allow researchers to ask and answer questions that are not generally possible with other empirical strategies. We first discuss some of the advantages of using experimental research. Then we highlight some of the findings that this research has produced thus far. Finally, we explore a variety of methodological issues that experimental researchers face.
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