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Research Canons

Books and articles that are essential to a new academic in various areas of legal inquiry as suggested by contributors to PrawfsBlawg.

Intellectual Property Articles

  1. 14 Fed. Cir. B.J. 1 - 227 (issue 1) (contains reprints of many of Rich's articles and speeches that cover a variety of topics from patentability to anti-trust. I personally have relied heavily upon it for understanding the background of the 1952 patent act, as well as the importance of precision in language; suggested by P.A.). 
  2. Barton Beebe, An Empirical Study of the Multifactor Tests for Trademark Infringement, 94 Cal. L. Rev. 1581 (2006) (empirical work on fair use in copyright/substantial similarity in trademark; suggested by Frank).
  3. Tom A. Bell, Fair Use v. Fared Use: The Impact of Automated Rights Management on Copyright's Fair Use Doctrine, 76 N. C. L. Rev. 557 (1998) (suggested by Frank).
  4. James Boyle, A Theory of Law and Information: Copyright, Spleens, Blackmail, and Insider Trading, 80 Cal. L. Rev. 1413 (1992) (suggested by Frank).
  5. Stephen Breyer, The Uneasy Case for Copyright, 84 Harv. L. Rev. 281 (1974) (suggested by Bruce Boyden).
  6. Ralph S. Brown, Jr., Advertising and the Public Interest: Legal Protection of Trade Symbols, 57  Yale L.J. 1165 (1948), reprinted in 108 Yale L.J. 1619 (trademark; suggested by Rebecca Tushnet). 
  7. Michael Carrier, Cabining Intellectual Property through a Property Paradigm, 54 Duke L. J. 1 (2004) (suggested by Frank).
  8. Michael W. Carroll, One for All: The Problem of Uniformity Cost in Intellectual Property Law, 55 Am. U. L. Rev. 845 (2005) (suggested by Frank Pasquale).
  9. Julie E. Cohen, Examined Lives: Informational Privacy and the Subject as Object, 52 Stan. L .Rev. 1373 (2000) (the intersection of IP and privacy (including Subject as Object);  suggested by Frank).
  10. Julie Cohen, Lochner in Cyberspace: The New Economic Orthodoxy of "Rights Management" 97 Mich. L. Rev. 462 (1998) (suggested by Frank).
  11. Robert C. Denicola, Trademarks as Speech: Constitutional Implications of the Emerging Rationales for the Protection of Trade Symbols, 1982  Wis. L. Rev. 158 (1982) (suggested by Rebecca Tushnet). 
  12. Graeme B. Dinwoodie & Mark D. Janis, Confusion Over Use: Contextualism in Trademark Law, 92 Iowa L. Rev. 1597 (2006) (vs. Lemley/Dogan (great example of controversies in methodology in IP Scholarship); suggested by Frank).
  13. Stacey L. Dogan & Mark A. Lemley, Trademarks and Consumer Search Costs on the Internet, 41 Hous. L. Rev. 777 (2004) (vs. Dinwoodie/Janis on Contextualism in TM (great example of controversies in methodology in IP Scholarship); suggested by Frank).
  14. Brett M. Frischmann, An Economic Theory of Infrastructure and Commons Management, 89 Minn. L. Rev. 917 (2004) (on IP as infrastructure; suggested by Frank).
  15. Eric Goldman, Deregulating Relevancy in Internet Trademark Law, 54 Emory L. J. 507 (2005) (suggested by Frank).
  16. Paul Goldstein, Copyright and the First Amendment, 70 Colum. L. Rev. 983 (1970) (provide an important foundation for those, like Benkler and Netanel, who are working through the sticky intersection of IP and the 1st Amendment; suggested by IP enthusiast).
  17. Wendy Gordon, Fair Use as Market Failure, 82 Colum. L. Rev. 1600 (1982) (suggested by Bruce Boyden). 
  18. David Lange, Recognizing the Public Domain, 44 Law & ContempProbs. 147 (1981) (deserves to be on this list for starting the discussion on the public domain; suggested by IP enthusiast).
  19.  Mark A. Lemley & David McGowan, Legal Implications of Network Economic Effects, 86 Cal. L. Rev. 479 (1998) (suggested by Frank).
  20. Mark A. Lemley, The Modern Lanham Act and the Death of Common Sense, 108 Yale L.J. 1687 (1999) (suggested by Rebecca Tushnet). 
  21. Mark A. Lemley & Brett M. Frischmann, Spillovers, 107 Colum. L. Rev. 257 (2007) (suggested by Frank).
  22. Mark A. Lemley, Property, Intellectual Property, and Free Riding, 83 Tex. L. Rev. 1031 (2005) (suggested by Frank).
  23.  Pierre Leval, Toward a Fair Use Standard, 103 Harv. L. Rev. 1105 (1990) (suggested by Bruce Boyden). 
  24. Mark McKenna, The Normative Foundations of Trademark Law, 82 Notre Dame L. Rev. (2007) (suggested by Rebecca Tushnet). 
  25. Eben Moglen, Anarchism triumphant: Free software and the death of copyright, 4 First Monday (1999) ( suggested by Frank).
  26. Melville Nimmer's Does Copyright Abridge the First Amendment Guarantees of Free Speech and Press?, 17 UCLA L. Rev. 1180 (1970) (provide an important foundation for those, like Benkler and Netanel, who are working through the sticky intersection of IP and the 1st Amendment; suggested by IP enthusiast).
  27. David Nimmer, A Riff on Fair Use under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act , 148 U. Penn. L. Rev. 673 (2000) (suggested by Tim Armstrong).
  28. Any recent Posner opinion on copyright; available at Project Posner (suggested by Frank).
  29. Margaret Jane Radin,  Online Standardization and the Integration of Text and Machine, 70 Fordham L. Rev. 1125 (2002) (work on propertization in cyberspace; suggested by Frank).
  30. Jerome Reichman, Of Green Tulips and Legal Kudzu: Repackaging Rights in Subpatentable Innovation, 53 Vand. L. Rev. 1743 (2000) (suggested by IP enthusiast).
  31. ​Giles S. Rich, Escaping the Tyranny of Words - Is Evolution in Legal Thinking Impossible?, 14 Fed. Cir. B.J. 193 (2004) (suggested by P.A.). 
  32. Pamela Samuelson & Suzanne Scotchmer,  The Law and Economics of Reverse Engineering, 111 Yale L.J. 1575 (2002) (suggested by Frank).
  33. Frank I. Schechter, The Rational Basis of Trademark Protection 40 Harv. L. Rev. 813 (1927) (For better or worse, the most important trademark piece ever written; suggested by Mark McKenna).
  34. Tim Wu, Copyright's Communications Policy, 103 Mich. L. Rev. 278 (2004) (suggested by Frank).

Intellectual Property Books

  1. Digital Rights Management: Technological, Economic, Legal, and Political Aspects, (Eberhard Becker, Willms Buhse, Dirk Günnewig and Niels Rump eds., 2004) (one-volume collection of essays, although nearly all the contributors are European and they obviously come at the subject a little differently, even when discussing U.S. law; suggested by Tim Armstrong).
  2. Yochai Benkler, The Wealth of Networks:  How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom (2006) (suggested by Frank).
  3. James Bessen and Michael J. Meurer, Patent Failure: How Judges, Bureaucrats, and Lawyers Put Innovators at Risk (2008). (suggested by Frank).
  4. James Boyle, Shamans, Software, and Spleens: Law and the Construction of the Information Society (1997) (suggested by Frank).
  5. Dan L. Burk and Mark A. Lemley, The Patent Crisis and How the Courts Can Solve It (2009) (suggested by Frank).
  6. Tyler Cowen, Good and Plenty: The Creative Successes of American Arts Funding (2006) (suggested by Frank).
  7. Expanding the Boundaries of Intellectual Property:  Innovation Policy for the Knowledge Society (Rochelle Dreyfuss, Diane L. Zimmerman, Harry First eds., 2001) (suggested by Frank).
  8. The EFF's annually updated "Unintended Consequences" essay is a good sourcebook on DMCA issues [the most recent edition may be found here:], as is   Suggested by Tim Armstrong.
  9. P.J. Federico's Commentaries on the 1952 Patent Act. (any IP professor should have a copy of this and should be mandatory reading for anyone sitting on the CAFC. I found a copy at:
  10.; suggested by John Roethel). 
  11. William W. Fisher, Promises to Keep: Technology, Law, and the Future of Entertainment (2004) (suggested by Frank).
  12. Paul Goldstein, Copyright's Highway: From Gutenberg to the Celestial Jukebox (2003) (suggested by Tim Armstrong). 
  13. Adam B. Jaffe & Josh Lerner, Innovation and Its Discontents: How Our Broken Patent System is Endangering Innovation and Progress, and What to Do About It (2006) (suggested by Tim Armstrong).
  14. Benjamin Kaplan, An Unhurried View of Copyright  (2008) (recently republished together with a collection of commentaries on the work under one cover; suggested by Tim Armstrong).
  15. Richard A. Lanham, The Economics of Attention: Style and Substance in the Age of Information (2006) (suggested by Frank).
  16. Lawrence Lessig, Code: And Other Laws of CyberSpace (2006) (suggested by Frank).
  17. Jessica Litman, Digital Copyright (2006) (suggested by Frank).
  18. International Public Goods and Transfer of Technology Under a Globalized Intellectual Property Regime (Keith E. Maskus and J. H Reichman eds., 2005) (deserves to be included in the canon as a phenomenal source of writings on international IP across all manner of specific inquiries; suggested by IP enthusiast). 
  19.  Lyman Ray Patterson, Copyright in Historical Perspective (1968) (suggested by Tim Armstrong).
  20.  Kevin Rivette & David Kline, Rembrandts in The Attic: Unlokcing the Hidden Value of Patents (1999) (seems to be getting a lot of discussion; suggested by aspiring future IP prof) 
  21. Carl Shapiro & Hal R. Varian, Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy (1998) (suggested by Frank).

Blogs & Conferences


  1. Public Knowledge policy blog
  2. Info/Law at Harvard
  3. Rebecca Tushnet's 43b blog
  4. Copyfight (though not very active lately) 
  5. Patently-O
  6. Fire of Genius (patent) 
  7. Trademark blog (Schwimmer?)
  8. LawMeme at Yale
  9. Patry on copyright
  10. (full disclosure--I blog there!)
     Suggested by Frank.


  1. AALS PAnel on Cultural Approaches to IP (featuring Cohen, Katyal, Scafidi)
  2. Stanford Cultural Environmentalism Conference, and CIS podcasts (including Dave Levine's HEarsay CUlture show)
  3. Yale A2K conference (if any of that is podcast!)
  4. Duke Conference on the public domain, published in LAw & Contemp Problems
  5. Harvard Berkman center series of podcasts