In Defense of an Inclusive IP Conversation
In a recent essay responding to a divisive critique of his book, Justifying Intellectual Property, Robert Merges makes clear from the start that he won’t be pulling any punches. He explains that the purpose of his essay, Against Utilitarian Fundamentalism, is to address the misleading and polarizing conclusions of Mark Lemley’s 2015 article, Faith-Based Intellectual Property, recapitulate the arguments he makes in Justifying IP, and show that those who approach intellectual property theory through a nonstrict empirical lens can still make meaningful contributions to the debate.
Merges exposes the key hypocrisy of Lemely’s article: By flippantly dismissing theories that deviate from his own, Lemley ultimately champions the same inflexible exclusivity he purports to condemn.
The underlying dispute between Lemley and Merges turns on what place nonstrict empirical research has in...
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