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All creativity and innovation build on existing ideas. Authors and inventors copy, adapt, improve, interpret, and refine the ideas that have come before them. The central task of intellectual property (IP) law is regulating this sequential innovation to ensure that initial creators and subsequent creators receive the appropriate sets of incentives. Although many scholars have applied the tools of economic analysis to consider whether IP law is successful in encouraging cumulative innovation, that work has rested on a set of untested assumptions about creators’ behavior. This Article reports four novel creativity experiments that begin to test those assumptions. In particular, we study how creators decide whether to copy, or “borrow,” from existing ideas or to innovate around them.
copyright, patent, doctrine of equivalents, market
Stefan Bechtold, Christopher Buccafusco & Christopher J. Sprigman,
Innovation Heuristics: Experiments on Sequential Creativity in Intellectual Property,
Indiana Law Journal
Available at: https://larc.cardozo.yu.edu/faculty-articles/319