Cover: Laws of Creation: Property Rights in the World of Ideas, from Harvard University PressCover: Laws of Creation in HARDCOVER

Laws of Creation

Property Rights in the World of Ideas

Add to Cart

Product Details


$65.50 • £52.95 • €59.00

ISBN 9780674066458

Publication Date: 01/01/2013


288 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

1 graph, 1 table


Be it the illegal downloading of music on the Internet or the sale of fake designer products on street comers, intellectual property is under attack these days. For many, intellectual property is a barrier to commerce and the sharing of ideas, a zero-sum game between the creator and the rest of the world. Cass and Hylton, authors of this cogent and readable book, disagree, arguing that the protection of intellectual property enhances social welfare and creativity. The book offers a good overview that defines what intellectual property is, explains why ideas are protected, and then provides successive chapter discussions of its four major components: patent, trade secrets, copyright, and trademark law. Each chapter explains the law and the economic justification of each type of law. The authors also discuss the challenges of protecting intellectual property in a global economy and under terms of rapidly changing technology. This is an excellent book for those wishing to understand how and why many common practices such as file swapping on the Internet threaten creativity.—D. Schultz, Choice

Laws of Creation revisits the important debates that have developed within the field of intellectual property law, and enlightens them with the perspective and logical apparatus of law and economics. Definitely, this is a book that academics in the field and libraries worldwide would want to have.—Francesco Parisi, University of Minnesota Law School

Cass and Hylton’s excellent book is a substantial contribution to the literature on intellectual property, with a very nice overview of the field. Readers will be attracted to the book for its ability to convey complex material using concrete language and examples. In the highly contested area of intellectual property, Laws of Creation will be hard to ignore, even by those who are disinclined to agree with its conclusions.—Henry E. Smith, Harvard Law School

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Jacket: An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns, by Bruno Latour, translated by Catherine Porter, from Harvard University Press

Honoring Latour

In awarding Bruno Latour the 2021 Kyoto Prize for Arts and Philosophy, the Inamori Foundation said he has “revolutionized the conventional view of science” and “his philosophy re-examines ‘modernity’ based on the dualism of nature and society.” Below is an excerpt from An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns. For more than twenty years, scientific and technological controversies have proliferated in number and scope, eventually reaching the climate itself. Since geologists are beginning to use the term “Anthropocene” to designate the era of Earth’s history that follows the Holocene