Economics of Litigation of the GNU GPL

Jun 30

The GNU General Public License (GPL) has been a hot topic, for both good and bad, ever since it was introduced to the world by the Free Software Foundation by Richard M. Stallman. Regardless of which side you argue, there has been very little case law or legal precedent established in the intervening years. One major reason for the dearth of cases related to the GNU GPL is that it is an economic zero sum outcome. As the focus of my final paper in my Business Law class, I chose to explore what litigation there has been and what it established with respect to the GPL. Surprisingly, of those cases that did involve the GPL and were started, very few actually ended up in court. In other words, they settled out of court. Here is my final paper. You can download it here: Economics of litigating the GNU General Public License...

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Patent and Copyright Law

Jun 03

Patent and copyright law are essential to a free market system. They were important enough that specific powers to enforce protections for inventions are built into the constitution of the United States. It could be that some of the prolific inventors of the time, such as Benjamin Franklin, pushed for such measures, and the sentiment must have been shared. Below is a presentation that shows a contemporary view of patent and copyright law and litigation. The presentation discusses two cases involving companies such as Samsung, Apple, Barnes & Noble and Amazon, among others. In the case of Amazon and Barnes & Noble, the matter was settle out of court. In the case of Samsung vs. Apple, the number of cases currently being prosecuted is growing. Questions One question to ask is at what point does litigation diminish the returns that are anticipated from an intellectual property system? Another might be at what point are the arguments beyond the expertise and ability of a judge or jury to reasonably determine a winner in a patent infringement case? These questions will increasingly weigh on decisions about when and how to litigate patents in courts of...

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