Call for IP Golden Oldies

Think of "Golden Oldies", and Elvis or Petula Clark come to mind. Something quite different was suggested while listening to a podcast interview with the august U.S. law academic and judge, Richard A. Posner, of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and the University of Chicago Law School. Judge Posner is, if I recall correctly, the most-cited law academic in modern times, noted for his contribution to law and economics and his prodigious output, even while serving on the bench.

All of this is by way of background to interview that Judge Posner gave this week to Bloomberg radio in connection with his new book, The Crisis of Capitalist Democracy. What caught my attention in the interview was Judge Posner's lament that modern economists have largely ignored the observations made by both John Maynard Keynes and Frank Knight (a founder of University of Chicago economics) in the 1920s, which Judge Posner believed are highly instructive to explain events today. Judge Posner noted, more or less, a certain modern arrogance that two long-gone academics could have been so right nearly a century ago.

His comment got me to thinking. How much do we know about the "golden oldies"of the IP literature? Even more importantly, how much can we learn today from these former masters? And so--my offer. If any readers want to share with me an article or the like from the past that he or she believes should be brought to the attention of this IP community, this KAT will be delighted to peruse the text and report on it in an appropriate fashion. You can decide how far back in time is "far"--1980, 1950, 1920, 1492, 1066, or other. I am at your service.

More on Petula Clark here.
More on Golden Oldies here.
Call for IP Golden Oldies Call for IP Golden Oldies Reviewed by Neil Wilkof on Friday, March 26, 2010 Rating: 5


  1. I'm not old enough to comply with your request. Yet, I'm convinced that LJ Jacob's contribution in Joseph Straus' liber amicorum is one that will stand the test of time:

    Sir R.JACOB, "Woolly lines in intellectual property law" in X., Patents and technological progress in a globalized world - Liber Amicorum Joseph Straus", Springerlink, 2009.

  2. Earlier this year, I assembled related, preliminary lists of "lost" classics of older IP scholarship, grounded in the US literature.

    An explanation of the project and links to the lists themselves, can be found here. I'm pleased to see the IPKat express a counterpart interest.

  3. Don´t forget Brandeis in

    'He who follows the pioneer into a new market, or who engages in the manufacture of an article newly introduced by another, seeks profits due largely to the labor and expense of the first adventurer; but the law sanctions, indeed encourages, the pursuit...'


  4. Interesting idea.

    However, it might be much more fun to establish a list of "worst IP judgments of all time".

    Or, funniest of all time.....

    Or the least cost effective of all time....

    Call them the Lord Esher awards:

    “What, that a
    man had better have
    his patent infringed, or
    have anything happen
    to him in this world,
    short of losing all his
    family by influenza, than have a dispute about a

  5. To MTPT

    I receive the Bloomberg podcasts via a subscription to "Tom Keene on Demand". But checking their website, it seems that the following link will take you to the Judge Posner interview which can be streamed and presumably also downloaded to an MP3 player. Please let me know if this does not work.

  6. In Modern Law Review, 2010, p. 305 – 330, you can read a review by David Campbell, ‘The End of Posnerian Law and Economics’, quoted Bacon: ‘Of the good faith and intention of a judge, a question cannot be raised; but it is otherwise as to his knowledge or error, be it in law or in fact.’


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