Title: Adapting the intellectual property system to new technologies

Authors: John H. Barton

Addresses: George E. Osborne Professor of Law, Stanford Law School, Stanford, CA 94305-8610. USA

Abstract: Consideration is given as to whether the system of protecting intellectual property rights is capable of adapting to the changes taking place in the new technologies. The paper uses biotechnology, computer software and computer databases as examples of fundamentally new technologies and describes the new issues posed by these technologies and reviews the approaches taken to adapt the intellectual property system in each case. It then evaluates the performance of this adaptation process, looking at three levels: the mechanisms for developing doctrine; the systems (e.g. patent offices) that grant intellectual property rights; and the formal systems (primarily courts) and informal systems (e.g. cross-licences) that enforce intellectual property rights and shape their practical economic implementation. In a number of the areas, the analysis is international and comparative; the conclusions are intended to be international as well.

Keywords: intellectual property; IPR protection; patents; copyright; patent offices; cross licences; biotechnology; genetic engineering; recombinant DNA; genes; cloning; coding; sequences; genome project; WIPO; UPOV; computer programs; copying direct translation; standards; interfaces; look and feel; appearance; expert information; artificial intelligence; CONTU; Berne convention; decomposition; reverse engineering; sui generis protection; network rights; database protection; open systems; closed systems.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.1995.025620

International Journal of Technology Management, 1995 Vol.10 No.2/3, pp.151 - 172

Published online: 23 May 2009 *

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