|Title:||The Public Perception of Intellectual Property|
|Author(s):||Mandel, G. N.|
|Citation:||Mandel, Gregory N. "Public Perception of Intellectual Property, The." Fla. L. Rev. 66 (2014): 261.|
|Link(s):||Definitive , Open Access|
|Key Related Studies:|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||Data were collected through a survey among a sample of 1,719 United States adults that took part in the study.The study population was 47% female and ranged in age from eighteen to ninety-one, with an average age of forty-two. The study population was 86% white, 5% African-American, 3% Asian, and 7% classified themselves as having another racial makeup.|
|Data Type:||Primary and Secondary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:||
Though the success of intellectual property law depends upon its ability to affect human perception and behavior, the public psychology of intellectual property has barely been explored. Over 1,700 U.S. adults took part in an experimental study designed to investigate popular conceptions of intellectual property rights. Respondents’ views of what intellectual property rights ought to be differed substantially from what intellectual property law actually provides, and popular conceptions of the basis for intellectual property rights were contrary to commonly accepted bases relied upon in legal and policy decisionmaking. Linear regression analysis reveals previously unrecognized cultural divides concerning intellectual property law based upon respondents’ income, age, education, political ideology, and gender.
Main Results of the Study
- Scenario 1: infringement. Seventy percent of respondents in the patent condition answered that the computer program developer should be entitled to monetary damages, a response consistent with intellectual property law, versus 19% who believed that the creator should not be so entitled. Fifty-nine percent of respondents in the copyright condition concluded that the songwriter was entitled to monetary damages, while 31% believed that the creator was not. Though this provides a majority response consistent with copyright law, it is a relatively weak majority, and a far smaller differential (28%) than the patent scenario (51%). Results are displayed in Figure 1.93 Two-tailed binomial tests reveal that participants were significantly more likely to conclude that the creator was entitled to damages than to conclude that the creator was not entitled to damages in both the patent (p < .001) and copyright (p < .001) scenarios
- Scenario 2: Creativity Threshold. rsuant to patent law’s requirement that the invention be nonobvious. Contrary to intellectual property law, 60% of respondents in the patent condition concluded that the inventor was entitled to intellectual property protection. Consistent with the law, 75% of respondents in the copyright condition similarly concluded that the author was entitled to intellectual property protection. Two-tailed binomial tests demonstrate that participants were significantly more likely to grant intellectual property protection to a novel, obvious creation than to deny protection in both the patent (p < .001) and copyright (p < .001) scenarios.
- Scenario 3: Independent Creators. Consistent with copyright law, 60% of participants in the copyright condition concluded that the later, independent sculptor should be entitled to separate intellectual property rights in the second sculpture. Contrary to patent law, 55% of participants in the patent condition concluded that the later, independent inventor should be entitled to separate intellectual property rights in the second medical device. Twotailed binomial tests indicate that participants were significantly more likely to award the later independent creator intellectual property rights than to deny rights in both the patent (p < .001) and copyright (p < .001) scenarios.
- Scenario 4: Joint Creators. Participants in both the patent and copyright conditions were relatively evenly split concerning whether intellectual property rights should be awarded to the secondary contributor. Two-tailed binomial tests revealed that participants were significantly less likely to grant a share of intellectual property rights to a secondary contributor in the copyright context (p < .05), but not in the patent context (p > .05).
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
- Given that individuals with a natural rights perspective were found to prefer stronger intellectual property protection than individuals with other bases, this may lead to a public perception that intellectual property rights should be stronger than they currently are.
- The results of this study indicate that the behavioral model of incentives on which the intellectual property system is based cannot function optimally because popular conceptions of intellectual property rights are not in accord with actual intellectual property law. This discord can destabilize the legitimacy and the effectiveness of intellectual property law.
- These public perceptions are also highly likely to influence juror, as well as some judicial and legislative, decision-making concerning intellectual property rights. The intellectual property system will remain hard-pressed to achieve its objectives given the widespread disconnect between the public psychology of intellectual property and the reality of intellectual property law.
Coverage of Study
|Level of aggregation:||Individual|
|Period of material under study:||Not stated|