The Emergence of Intellectual Property for Legal Innovation
UVA Law Faculty Affiliations
The legal system has traditionally been the source of intellectual property protection for innovation, not the object of protection. The legal system, however, is not static. It adjusts to new social needs; it accommodates new technologies; and perhaps also it improves with time. Just as private initiative can lead to innovation in other disciplines, so too can it foster innovation in the legal system itself. Private legal innovators may in turn seek to protect their innovations using the tools of intellectual property, and it may be in society’s interest to allow such protection to induce increased legal innovation. This chapter offers two case studies showing how private parties are currently protecting their legal innovations with various forms of intellectual property, including copyright, trademark and trade secret law. These case studies suggest that intellectual property is becoming an increasingly important tool for inducing legal innovation.