Does Intellectual Property Law Inhibit Innovation?

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Intellectual Property Law: Does intellectual property law inhibit innovation?
Globalization and the advent of the Internet have significantly enhanced the transfer of ideas and knowledge worldwide.
The desire for protection and compensation for one’s ideas and creations has led to an evolution in intellectual property law (IP). This form of law has evolved through policies, laws, and international treaties, which some believe have inhibited creativity, innovation and the sharing of acquired knowledge.
This paper asks the question, does intellectual property law inhibit innovation? Ideas, knowledge and creativity are larger than the discipline of law and affect every part of our lives, thus IP development requires complex approaches in order
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Intellectual property law impacts a multitude of disciplines such as economics and law, so therefore can be researched using a multidisciplinary approach. I will first try to address our question through a positivist approach.
The hypothesis in this case is that, ‘does the existence of IP law stop innovation’? The study will use empirical data collection of court records regarding cases where IP law was adjudicated and based on the result is there evidence that the inventor stopped inventing.
The advantage of this approach is that it provides a clear and concise analysis of results data and the experiment can be replicated over and over again and provide a general view in understanding the issue. From an economics perspective we may employ incentive to invent theory, which posits that, without protection fewer inventions will be created (Kesan, 2000). This theory posits that if the inventor is not protected, people can steal his or her ideas without penalty, there is no reason to invent. We may also look at the issue from a legal positivist theory, and separability theory, where there is no importance placed on the morality of the law only that it exists for all. Separability theory tells us that the law and morals should be separate (Murumba,
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Law is seen as occurring in two ways, first as natural law, where law is evaluated through the analysis of human nature and morality. Second, law can be seen, as stated above, from a legal positivist frame work. Through the use of interdisciplinary study the research will consider legal theory, where philosophical methods of inquiry and law are blended and we no longer speak on law and philosophy alone. This method looks at the question as a problem to solve rather than an information gap to fill. The ontology used is that there is no single reality, everyone experiences IP law in a unique way specific to them in a certain time and place. The study would be interpretivist in nature, and will interview people directly involved with IP law in a variety of ways. Epistemologically, the study would employ grounded theory to create a process where people involved would be interviewed in person, within a particular jurisdiction to assess the impact of IP law on them and whether the law enhanced or inhibited innovation from their perspective. This process respects legal theory in that we are seeking to address the human side of law, while documenting what the law is and its impact, which forms the advantage of an interpretivist / constructivist approach (Scassa, et al, 2014). Transdisciplinary

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