Law expert Michael G. Ben­nett fore­sees a future in which intel­lec­tual rep­u­ta­tion, salaries, and pro­fes­sional oppor­tu­ni­ties play a greater role in fueling innovation:

Many have long believed that strong intellectual-​​proprerty laws offer impor­tant incen­tives for inno­va­tion and dis­covery. Indeed, over the past thirty years, fed­eral law ands statutes have sig­nif­i­cantly increased the pro­tec­tions afforded by intellectual-​​proprerty law, such as copy­rights and patents.

Over the next ten years, how­ever, empir­ical data will likely sug­gest that other fac­tors — including intel­lec­tual rep­u­ta­tion, salaries, and pro­fes­sional oppor­tu­ni­ties — play a greater role in fueling inno­va­tion than do intellectual-​​property laws. As a result, law­makers may be pres­sured to recon­sider the wisdom of increased pro­tec­tions, to ensure the con­tin­u­a­tion of public-​​domain enrichment.”

Michael G. Ben­nett is an asso­ciate pro­fessor of law.