Intellectual Property: Law & the Information Society—Cases and Materials


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Intellectual Property: Law & the Information Society—Cases and Materials, Is a  textbook written by James Boyle

About the Book

This book is an introduction to intellectual property law, the set of private legal rights that allows individuals and corporations to control intangible creations and marks—from logos to novels to drug formulae—and the exceptions and limitations that define those rights. It focuses on the three graphmain forms of US federal intellectual property—trademark, copyright and patent—but many of the ideas discussed here apply far beyond those legal areas and far beyond the law of the United States.

The book is intended to be a textbook for the basic Intellectual Property class, but because it is an open coursebook, which can be freely edited and customized, it is also suitable for an undergraduate class, or for a business, library studies, communications or other graduate school class. Each chapter contains cases and secondary readings and a set of problems or role-playing exercises involving the material. The problems range from a video of the Napster oral argument to counseling clients about search engines and trademarks, applying the First Amendment to digital rights management and copyright or commenting on the Supreme Court’s rulings on gene patents.

About the Contributors


James Boyle is William Neal Reynolds Professor of Law at Duke Law School and the former Chairman of the Board of Creative Commons. His other books include The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind; Shamans, Software and Spleens: Law and the Construction of the Information Society; Cultural Environmentalism (with Lawrence Lessig); and Bound By Law (with Jennifer Jenkins).

Jennifer Jenkins is Senior Lecturing Fellow at Duke Law School and the Director of the Center for the Study of the Public Domain. Her recent articles include In Ambiguous Battle: The Promise (and Pathos) of Public Domain Day and Last Sale? Libraries’ Rights in the Digital Age. She is the co-author, with James Boyle, of Bound By Law and the forthcoming Theft! A History of Music.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Chapter One The Theories Behind Intellectual Property
  • Chapter Two Intellectual Property & The Constitution
  • Chapter Three Intellectual Property & The First Amendment
  • Chapter Four Trademark: Introduction
  • Chapter Five Subject Matter: Requirements For Trademark Protection
  • Chapter Six Grounds For Refusing Registration
  • Chapter Seven Trademark Infringement
  • Chapter Eight Defense To Trademark Infringement: Fair & Nominative Use
  • Chapter Nine False Advertising, Dilution & ‘Cyberpiracy’
  • Chapter Ten Introduction To Copyright: Theory & History
  • Chapter Eleven Copyrightable Subject Matter
  • Chapter Twelve Copyright’s “Reach”: Infringement
  • Chapter Thirteen Limitations On Exclusive Rights: Fair Use
  • Chapter Fourteen Secondary Liability For Copyright Infringement & Safe Harbors In The Digital Age
  • Chapter Fifteen Anti-Circumvention: A New Statutory Scheme
  • Chapter Sixteen Copyright & State Misappropriation Law: Preemption
  • Chapter Seventeen Patents: Hopes, Fears, History & Doctrine
  • Chapter Eighteen Patentable Subject Matter
  • Chapter Nineteen Requirements For Patent Protection: Utility
  • Chapter Twenty Requirements For Patent Protection: Novelty
  • Chapter Twenty-One Non-Obviousness
  • Chapter Twenty-Two Trade Secrecy & Preemption
  • Chapter Twenty-Three A Creative Commons? Summary And Conclusion

Additional information


James Boyle, Duke Law School

Jennifer Jenkins, Duke Law School


James Boyle, Jennifer Jenkins






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