Abstract: This chapter of the forthcoming Handbook of Law and Economics (A.M. Polinsky & S. Shavell (eds.)) provides a comprehensive survey of the burgeoning literature on the law and economics of intellectual property. It is organized around the two principal objectives of intellectual property law: promoting innovation and aesthetic creativity (focusing on patent and copyright protection) and protecting integrity of the commercial marketplace (trademark protection and unfair competition law). Each section sets forth the economic problem, the principal models and analytical frameworks, application of economic analysis to particular structural and doctrinal issues, interactions with other legal regimes (such as competition policy), international dimensions, and comparative analysis of intellectual property protection and other means of addressing the economic problem (such as public funding and prizes in the case of patent and copyright law and direct consumer protection statutes and public enforcement in the case of trademarks).
Keywords: Intellectual Property, Patents, Copyrights, Trademarks