The notes for all of my lectures on the theories of intellectual property and most of the accompanying slide presentations are available in or through a “mind map,” which is available in the formats listed below. (Instructions on how to use one of these maps are available here.)


A short (somewhat dated) survey of this field can be found in William Fisher, “Theories of Intellectual Property,” originally published in Stephen Munzer, ed., New Essays in the Legal and Political Theory of Property (Cambridge University Press, 2001). A Chinese translation of the article, by Haifeng Huang, can be found in Chinese Intellectual Property Review 1 (2002): 1.


A selected bibliography pertaining to the four principal branches of Intellectual Property Theory, with links to publicly available versions of some of the documents, is set forth below.

Fairness Theory
Welfare Theory
Personality Theory
Cultural Theory