UIC Review of Intellectual Property Law


Doug Lichtman


Should copyright be awarded in an instance where a work of authorship lacks inspiration and is instead simply the result of necessary and genuine hard work? Should patents likewise be offered to inventors whose achievements derive not from any flash of genius but from sweat and labor alone? In this Essay, Professor Lichtman revisits the economic case in favor of a "perspiration principle" under which hard work would be a sufficient trigger for intellectual property protection, even in instances where the resulting achievements lack the creative spark that patent and copyright law typically require.