Intellectual Property and the Common Law

Date(s) of Conference:

May 6-7, 2011


Penn Center for Technology, Innovation, and Competition


The aim of this symposium is to examine what the common law, understood as a method of rule-making and as a body of substantive law, can contribute to discussions about the structure and function of intellectual property. Because intellectual property is generally understood to be principally legislative in origin, discussions of intellectual property reform tend to gloss over the role of the judicial process in shaping the scope, nature, and coverage of various regimes. This symposium will attempt to analyze the extent to which common law techniques, rules, and concepts can and do influence the structure and substance of the various intellectual property regimes and the lessons that this holds for the future of intellectual property law and policy.

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