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Progress as Impact: A Contemporary View of Copyright and Patent Clause

Published onAug 07, 2022
Progress as Impact: A Contemporary View of Copyright and Patent Clause

21 Wake Forest J. Bus. & Intell. Prop. L. 1

The law recognizes and protects private property rights for several
reasons. Property rights give an individual personal autonomy over
valuable assets, encourage labor and productivity, ensure democracy,
prevent depletion of open-access resources, and allocate limited
resources efficiently. Intellectual property rights are also largely
instrumental. The broader societal goal supported by intellectual
property laws, particularly copyright and patents, is the progress of
science (generally taken to mean “systematic and theoretical
knowledge”) and the useful arts (generally taken to mean “technology
or commercial practices”). The instrumental role of intellectual
property is generally recognized as laying the foundation for the
exclusive rights that intellectual property owners enjoy and the
monopolies that society bears for a temporary time to benefit from the
creativity and inventiveness of authors and inventors. Today, this view
of intellectual property as instrumental in promoting progress supports
a more global understanding that intellectual property contributes
towards economic growth and cultural well-being by creating the
incentives for authors and inventors to produce and disseminate
knowledge and useful inventions to the rest of society.

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