Introduction: A real property lawyer cautiously inspects the edges of intellectual property

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No one should take this title in the wrong way: That's a “real” property lawyer in the sense of real estate, not in the sense of actuality - realty, not reality. I believe the editors of this volume thought that they themselves knew too much about intellectual property to see the perplexities that could obscure the path for uninitiated readers. And so, for the Introduction, the editors sought out someone who knows something about ordinary property, but not so much about intellectual property. Lucky me! Thanks to their request, I have had the great pleasure of going through these very enlightening essays about the emerging and sometimes ongoing issues in this area, really one of the most dynamic fields in all of property law. But I can only hope that my relative unfamiliarity with specifically intellectual property enables me to feel at one with other less expert readers. For the readers who are more like me, I hope this brief introductory essay can point out some of the common themes and some of the oddities that these chapters address, and in some cases connect those themes and oddities to current theoretical trends in other areas of property law. I will begin with a question that runs through most of the chapters and commentaries in this book: What is intellectual property supposed to be doing? After that, I will take up some versions of the “edge” and what several of these chapters mean by the edges of intellectual property. After that, I will run through a melange of other themes that readers may find in these chapters - certainly not an exclusive list, but one that generally bounces off other ideas in property law.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalUnknown Journal
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2005


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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