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University of Michigan Law School

Case studies

2015

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Constructive Ambiguity: Ip Licenses As A Case Study, Michal Shur-Ofry, Ofer Tur-Sinai Feb 2015

Constructive Ambiguity: Ip Licenses As A Case Study, Michal Shur-Ofry, Ofer Tur-Sinai

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Ambiguity in contracts is often perceived as undesirable. A certain level of ambiguity, however, can have significant virtues: reducing transaction costs associated with foreseeing and negotiating remote contingencies; facilitating the closing of efficient transactions that would not otherwise close; increasing the adaptability and “anti-fragility” of contracts in the face of unforeseen developments; and preserving trust between the parties. Some contracts are more likely to benefit from a certain degree of ambiguity. Relying on multi-disciplinary literature, this Article systematically analyzes ambiguity’s merits and identifies three principal features of transactions that are positively correlated to the virtues of ambiguity: (1) long ...