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Patents And Business Models For Software Firms, John R. Allison, Abe Dunn, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2006

Patents And Business Models For Software Firms, John R. Allison, Abe Dunn, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

We analyze the relation between patents and the different business models available to firms in the software industry. The paper builds on Cusumano's work defining the differences among firms that sell products, those that provide services, and the hybrid firms that fall between those polar categories. Combining data from five years of Software Magazine's Software 500 with data about the patenting practices of those software firms, we analyze the relation between the share of revenues derived from product sales and the firm's patenting practices. Accounting for size, R&D intensity, and sector-specific effects, the paper finds a ...


'Une Chose Publique'? The Author's Domain And The Public Domain In Early British, French And Us Copyright Law, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2006

'Une Chose Publique'? The Author's Domain And The Public Domain In Early British, French And Us Copyright Law, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

Much contemporary copyright rhetoric casts copyright as a derogation from a primordial public domain. Placing the public domain in the initial position buttresses attempts to contain a perceived over-expansion of copyright. I do not take issue with the normative role these endeavors assign to the public domain. The public domain is today and should remain copyright's constraining counterpart. But normative arguments that also claim the support of history may be fundamentally anachronistic. The ensuing examination of the respective domains of author and public at copyright's inception, in 18th-19th century Britain, France and America, reveals more ambiguity than today ...


Inducers And Authorisers: A Comparison Of The Us Supreme Court's Grokster Decision And The Australian Federal Court's Kazaa Ruling, Jane C. Ginsburg, Sam Ricketson Jan 2006

Inducers And Authorisers: A Comparison Of The Us Supreme Court's Grokster Decision And The Australian Federal Court's Kazaa Ruling, Jane C. Ginsburg, Sam Ricketson

Faculty Scholarship

On June 27, 2005, the US Supreme Court announced its much-awaited decision in MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster Ltd. A few months after this, the Federal Court of Australia handed down its decision at first instance in relation to parallel litigation in that country concerning the KaZaa file sharing system. Both decisions repay careful consideration of the way in which the respective courts have addressed the relationship between the protection of authors' rights and the advent of new technologies, particularly in relation to peer-to-peer networks.

In the Grokster case, songwriters, record producers and motion picture producers alleged that two popular ...


Intellectual Property, Innovation, And Decentralized Decisions, Tim Wu Jan 2005

Intellectual Property, Innovation, And Decentralized Decisions, Tim Wu

Faculty Scholarship

This essay proposes a new way to assess the desirability of intellectual property rights.

Traditionally, intellectual property assignment is assessed based on a incentive/monopoly pricing tradeoff. I suggest they should be further assessed by their effects on the decision architectures surrounding the property right – their effects on how firms make product innovation decisions. The reason is that different decisional structures for product development can be are fundamental to the performance of firms, industries, and even the economy as a whole.

The organizational economics literature can help with this assessment. It makes an important and useful distinction between hierarchical (centralized ...


Essay – The Author's Name As A Trademark: A Perverse Perspective On The Moral Right Of «Paternity»?, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2005

Essay – The Author's Name As A Trademark: A Perverse Perspective On The Moral Right Of «Paternity»?, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

The US Supreme Court in its 2003 decision in Dastar v. Twentieth Century Fox, construing the Lanham Federal Trademarks Act, deprived authors of their principal legal means to enforce attribution rights in the US. I have elsewhere criticized the Dastar Court's analysis, and have urged amending the Copyright Act to provide express recognition of the attribution right. This time, however, I propose to reconsider the foundation for the attribution right; I draw on literary and historical sources to supplement legal arguments concerning the meaning of the author's name. I will suggest that, contrary to the usual characterization of ...


Legal Protection Of Technological Measures Protecting Works Of Authorship: International Obligations And The Us Experience, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2005

Legal Protection Of Technological Measures Protecting Works Of Authorship: International Obligations And The Us Experience, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

The ongoing transposition of the EU Information Society Directive's requirement that member States adopt of legal prohibitions of the circumvention of technological protections of works of authorship occasions this review of international obligations and their implementation in the US. This article addresses the scope of international obligations the WIPO Copyright Treaties impose on member States to protect against circumvention, as well as the US experience with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's prohibitions on circumvention of access and copy controls. It examines the text of the statute, codified at sec. 1201 of the 1976 Copyright Act, the five years ...


The Commercialization Of Open Source Software: Do Property Rights Still Matter?, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2005

The Commercialization Of Open Source Software: Do Property Rights Still Matter?, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

A major shift toward open source software is underway as companies are more critically evaluating the cost effectiveness of their IT investments, seeing the benefits of collaborative development, and looking for ways to avoid vendor lock-in. At the same time, academics and industry visionaries are criticizing the use of a traditional appropriation mechanism for innovation – the patent – by bemoaning the decisions of U.S. and foreign governments to permit software patents, the rising numbers of patents on software-related innovations (the so-called arms race build-up), and the cost and frequency of patent litigation in the software industry. The critics generally have ...


Do Patents Facilitate Financing In The Software Industry?, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2005

Do Patents Facilitate Financing In The Software Industry?, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

This paper is the first part of a wide-ranging study of the role of intellectual property in the software industry. Unlike previous papers that focus primarily on software patents – which generally are held by firms that are not software firms – this Article provides a thorough and contextually grounded description of the role that patents play in the software industry itself.

The bulk of the Article considers the pros and cons of patents in the software industry. The Article starts by emphasizing the difficulties that prerevenue startups face in obtaining any value from patents. Litigation to enforce patents is impractical for ...


An Empirical Investigation Of Liquidation Choices Of Failed High-Tech Firms, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2005

An Empirical Investigation Of Liquidation Choices Of Failed High-Tech Firms, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

This paper compares a dataset of failed venture-backed firms to information about the firm's liquidation choices. The first finding is that firms in California are much less likely to use the bankruptcy process than firms in other states, largely because of their ability to use a cheaper and less formal assignment for the benefit of creditors procedure. The paper explores a number of reasons why that procedure succeeds in California more than it does elsewhere, including differences in statutory support for the procedure, the sophistication of market participants in California, the close-knit venture communities in California, and unusual rules ...


Patents, Venture Capital, And Software Start-Ups, Ronald J. Mann, Thomas W. Sager Jan 2005

Patents, Venture Capital, And Software Start-Ups, Ronald J. Mann, Thomas W. Sager

Faculty Scholarship

This paper analyzes the relation between the patenting behavior of startup firms and the progress of those firms through the venture capital cycle. Linking data relating to venture capital financing of software startup firms with data concerning the patents obtained by those firms, we find significant and robust positive correlations between patenting and several variables measuring the firm's performance (including number of rounds, total investment, exit status, receipt of late stage financing, and longevity). The data also show that (1) only about one in four venture-backed software firms acquired even one patent during the period of the study; (2 ...


The Copyright Paradox, Tim Wu Jan 2005

The Copyright Paradox, Tim Wu

Faculty Scholarship

Over the last decade, writers begun to try and understand the other side of copyright, sometimes called its competition policy, communications policy, or regulatory side. This paper focuses attention on a crucial problem familiar to antitrust courts that is becoming more clearly important to copyright decisions. In both copyright and antitrust, a central question is how important intent is. Judges, stated slightly differently, face a choice between what we can characterize as the bad actor and welfarist models of deciding cases. What we can call the bad actor approach punishes alleged wrong-doers based on the mens rea of the suspect ...


The (New?) Right Of Making Available To The Public, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2004

The (New?) Right Of Making Available To The Public, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

The Berne Convention 1971 Paris Act covered the right of communication to the public incompletely and imperfectly through a tangle of occasionally redundant or self-contradictory provisions on "public performance," "communication to the public," "public communication," "broadcasting," and other forms of transmission. Worse, the scope of rights depended on the nature of the work, with musical and dramatic works receiving the broadest protection, and images the least; literary works, especially those adapted into cinematographic works, lying somewhere in between. The 1996 WIPO Copyright Treaty rationalized and synthesized protection by establishing full coverage of the communication right for all protected works of ...


The Right To Claim Authorship In U.S. Copyright And Trademarks Law, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2004

The Right To Claim Authorship In U.S. Copyright And Trademarks Law, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

The U.S. Constitution authorizes Congress to secure for limited times the exclusive right of authors to their writings. Curiously, those rights, as enacted in our copyright laws, have not included the right to be recognized as the author of one's writings. Yet, the interest in being identified with one's work is fundamental, whatever one's conception of the philosophical or policy basis for copyright. That is, whether one sees copyright as a personality right conferring on the author the ownership of the fruits of her labor, or as an economic incentive scheme to promote the production of ...


The Concept Of Authorship In Comparative Copyright Law, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2003

The Concept Of Authorship In Comparative Copyright Law, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

In contemporary debates over copyright, the figure of the author is too-often absent. As a result, these discussions tend to lose sight of copyright's role in fostering creativity. I believe that refocusing discussion on authors – the constitutional subjects of copyright – should restore a proper perspective on copyright law, as a system designed to advance the public goal of expanding knowledge, by means of stimulating the efforts and imaginations of private creative actors. Copyright cannot be understood merely as a grudgingly tolerated way-station on the road to the public domain. Nor does a view of copyright as a necessary incentive ...


When Code Isn't Law, Tim Wu Jan 2003

When Code Isn't Law, Tim Wu

Faculty Scholarship

The prominent effects of computer code have made it difficult to ignore the fact that code can be used to produce regulatory effects similar to laws. Hence, the popularity of the idea that (for computer users at least) "code is law."

But the idea remains extremely vague. Most problematically, none of these understandings of code and law explains the central issue of compliance. Specifically, they do not explain the shifting patterns of legal compliance in the 2000s. Explosions of non-compliance in areas such as copyright, pornography, financial fraud, and prescription drugs fuel the sense of a legal breakdown, yet the ...


Network Neutrality, Broadband Discrimination, Tim Wu Jan 2003

Network Neutrality, Broadband Discrimination, Tim Wu

Faculty Scholarship

This paper examines the the concept of network neutrality in telecommunications policy and its relationship to Darwinian theories of innovation. It also considers the record of broadband discrimination practiced by broadband operators in the early 2000s.


The Mead Doctrine: Rules And Standards, Meta-Rules And Meta-Standards, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 2002

The Mead Doctrine: Rules And Standards, Meta-Rules And Meta-Standards, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

In United States v. Mead Corp. the Supreme Court sought to prescribe a test for determining when the Chevron doctrine applies to agency interpretations of law. The Court got off to a good start, announcing that Chevron applies when Congress has delegated authority to an agency to make rules having the force of law, and the agency has adopted an interpretation pursuant to this authority. Unfortunately, the Court was less than clear about when Congress has delegated the required authority, applying a vague standard that incorporates such elements as whether Congress has directed the agency to use relatively formal procedures ...


Essay – How Copyright Got A Bad Name For Itself, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2002

Essay – How Copyright Got A Bad Name For Itself, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

Over the last several years, copyrighted works have come to account for a healthy portion of our GNP, and an even more substantial share of U.S. exports. Nonetheless, copyright is in bad odor these days. Many of the developments over the last years designed to protect copyright have drawn academic scorn, and intolerance even from the popular press. I have a theory about how copyright got a bad name for itself, and I can summarize it in one word: Greed.

Corporate greed and consumer greed. Copyright owners, generally perceived to be large, impersonal and unlovable corporations (the human creators ...


Draft Convention On Jurisdiction And Recognition Of Judgments In Intellectual Property Matters, Rochelle Cooper Dreyfuss, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2002

Draft Convention On Jurisdiction And Recognition Of Judgments In Intellectual Property Matters, Rochelle Cooper Dreyfuss, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

This proposal is meant to spur the intellectual property bar to consider whether it would be desirable to create a regime for international enforcement of intellectual property law judgments. Such a convention could be adopted under the auspices of the World Intellectual Property Organization ("WIPO") or through the World Trade Organization ("WTO").

There are several reasons to believe that an instrument drafted specifically for intellectual property disputes would be particularly advantageous. First, for intellectual property disputes, efficiency should be a principal target. Modern distribution methods, particularly satellite and Internet transmissions, make it increasing likely that intellectual property rights will be ...


Berne Without Borders: Geographic Indiscretion And Digital Communications, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2001

Berne Without Borders: Geographic Indiscretion And Digital Communications, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

This lecture examines the role of borders in the Berne Convention at the time of the treaty's first passage in 1886, and today. The later 19th century was an era of increasing commerce and communication among countries whose domestic production and reproduction of works of authorship had vastly increased, thanks in part to new technologies, such as photography, lithography, and high-speed printing. But at that time, the frontiers between nations often frustrated authors' hopes for control over, or at least compensation for, the international exploitation of their works. Authors' rights ceased at their national boundaries; the world beyond foreboded ...


Can Copyright Become User-Friendly? Essay Review Of Jessica Litman, Digital Copyright, Prometheus Books 2001, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2001

Can Copyright Become User-Friendly? Essay Review Of Jessica Litman, Digital Copyright, Prometheus Books 2001, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

Professor Litman has written Digital Copyright for the general public, though lawyers, and especially copyright lawyers, would do well to read it. Professor Litman's message is straightforward: Copyright law is too complicated and counterintuitive. It has been written by and for copyright lawyers who represent many, but not all, of the players. Those left out include developers of new ways of communicating copyrighted works, and, most importantly, end users. But nowadays, copyright directly affects end users in ways more pervasive than could have been expected in the analog world. If copyright law doesn't make sense to those who ...


Toward Supranational Copyright Law? The Wto Panel Decision And The "Three-Step Test" For Copyright Exceptions, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2001

Toward Supranational Copyright Law? The Wto Panel Decision And The "Three-Step Test" For Copyright Exceptions, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

A dispute resolution panel of the World Trade Organization in June 2000 held the United States in contravention of its obligation under art. 13 of the TRIPs accord to "confine limitations or exceptions to exclusive rights to certain special cases which do not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work and do not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the right holder." In the dispute resolution proceeding, initiated by the European Union at the behest of the Irish performing rights organization, the contested exception, enacted in the 1998 "Digital Millennium Copyright Act," exempted a broad range of retail and ...


From Having Copies To Experiencing Works: The Development Of An Access Right In U.S. Copyright Law, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2000

From Having Copies To Experiencing Works: The Development Of An Access Right In U.S. Copyright Law, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

This essay addresses how current U.S. copyright law responds to new forms of distribution of copyrighted works, through the emerging right to control digital access to copyrighted works, as set out in § 1201 of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act. When the exploitation of works shifts from having copies to directly experiencing the content of the work, the author's ability to control access becomes crucial. Indeed, in the digital environment, without an access right, it is difficult to see how authors can maintain the exclusive Right to their Writings that the Constitution authorizes Congress to secure. Even if ...


International Copyright: From A "Bundle" Of National Copyright Laws To A Supranational Code?, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2000

International Copyright: From A "Bundle" Of National Copyright Laws To A Supranational Code?, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

In recent years, the number and content of substantive norms that international copyright treaties impose on member states have increased considerably. It is therefore appropriate to consider the extent to which those instruments have in effect created an international (or at least multinational) copyright code, as well as to inquire what role national copyright laws do and should have in an era not only of international copyright norms, but of international dissemination of copyrighted works. This Article first considers the displacement of national norms through the evolution of a de facto international copyright code, elaborated in multilateral instruments such as ...


The Tragedy Of The Anticommons: Property In The Transition From Marx To Markets, Michael Heller Jan 1998

The Tragedy Of The Anticommons: Property In The Transition From Marx To Markets, Michael Heller

Faculty Scholarship

Why are many storefronts in Moscow empty while street kiosks in front are full of goods? This article develops a theory of anticommons property to help explain the puzzle of empty storefronts and full kiosks. Anticommons property can be understood as the mirror image of commons property. By definition, in a commons, multiple owners are each endowed with the privilege to use a given resource, and no one has the right to exclude another. When too many owners hold such privileges of use, the resource is prone to overuse – a tragedy of the commons. Depleted fisheries and overgrazed fields are ...


Can Patents Deter Innovation? The Anticommons In Biomedical Research, Michael Heller, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jan 1998

Can Patents Deter Innovation? The Anticommons In Biomedical Research, Michael Heller, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Faculty Scholarship

The "tragedy of the commons" metaphor helps explain why people overuse shared resources. However, the recent proliferation of intellectual property rights in biomedical research suggests a different tragedy, an "anticommons" in which people underuse scarce resources because too many owners can block each other. Privatization of biomedical research must be more carefully deployed to sustain both upstream research and downstream product development. Otherwise, more intellectual property rights may lead paradoxically to fewer useful products for improving human health.