Skip to main content
Contribution to Book
Intellectual Property: General Theories
Encyclopedia of Law and Economics (2000)
  • Peter Menell, Berkeley Law

This chapter surveys and synthesizes the deepening and widening theoretical landscape of intellectual property. Not surprisingly, the principal philosophical theory applied to the protection of utilitarian works - that is, technological inventions - has been utilitarianism. Utilitarian theorists generally endorse the creation of intellectual property rights as an appropriate means to foster innovation. Non-utilitarian theorists emphasize creators’ moral rights to control their work. Many of these scholars draw upon multiple philosophical strands in constructing their analyses.

Publication Date
Boudewijn Bouckaert, Gerrit de Geest
Edward Elgar
Citation Information
Peter Menell. "Intellectual Property: General Theories" Cheltenham, UK; Northampton, Ma.Encyclopedia of Law and Economics (2000)
Available at: