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QuickTake: On new ideas for fueling discovery

Law expert Michael G. Bennett foresees a future in which intellectual reputation, salaries, and professional opportunities play a greater role in fueling innovation:

“Many have long believed that strong intellectual-proprerty laws offer important incentives for innovation and discovery. Indeed, over the past thirty years, federal law ands statutes have significantly increased the protections afforded by intellectual-proprerty law, such as copyrights and patents.

“Over the next ten years, however, empirical data will likely suggest that other factors — including intellectual reputation, salaries, and professional opportunities — play a greater role in fueling innovation than do intellectual-property laws. As a result, lawmakers may be pressured to reconsider the wisdom of increased protections, to ensure the continuation of public-domain enrichment.”

Michael G. Bennett is an associate professor of law.