Experimental Tests of Intellectual Property Laws’ Creativity Thresholds

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  • August 3, 2015

Despite the fact that Copyright and Patent law are both meant to encourage the production of new creative works and inventions, they have separate thresholds of proof necessary to determine whether some new creation is sufficiently innovative to merit legal protection. In this article, Professors Buccafusco, Burns, Fromer, and Sprignman present their results from a series of experiments meant to determine what affect these different thresholds have on innovation and creativity. Specifically, they test whether the existence of a creativity threshold that conditions entry into a prize lottery on meeting certain performance standards affects how creative people are. Professors Buccafusco, Burns, Fromer, and Sprigman report four original experiments designed to measure the effects of different thresholds on creativity. They then discuss the implications of their findings for IP law and for creativity and innovation more generally.Further, they contribute to the growing debate of whether the copyright threshold should be raised to further stimulate creativity.