The innovations that produce economic growth and social progress first arise as ideas. The cost of bringing a new idea to market can be extraordinarily high, but the cost of copying that innovation is often very cheap. Intellectual property law tries to balance society’s interest in having incentives to create intellectual property with the need to distribute that property optimally for social benefit. The ability of digital technologies to copy and exploit the advantages of unique intellectual achievements presents new challenges for intellectual property law, making it one of the fastest-growing legal specialties in the United States.
Sprigman discusses the intellectual property program and his personal research in copyright law and the fashion industry.