Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Berkeley

UC Berkeley Recent Work bannerUC Berkeley
Cover page of A Comparative Approach to the Protection of Fashion Innovations

A Comparative Approach to the Protection of Fashion Innovations


This paper determines the relevance of industrial property rights to the development of innovations in the fashion industry. It examines how the level of innovation can remain high despite a free exchange of intellectual property – fashion designs – within the industry:

The importance of innovation for a fashion business in the industry is determined by the choice of it’s competitive strategy. That is, either to be an innovator who creates fashion innovations or to be an imitator who adopts them once they have proven their ability to prevail in the market. The success of innovators depends largely on their ability to react to fashion trends, reinforced by the social role of fashion products and to the extent of their potential to confer status on the owner. Thus the duration of a temporary monopoly gained by an innovation is limited not only by the market entrance of imitators – a period of time that can be prolonged by making use of industrial property rights protection – but also by the constant changes in fashion, a process barely affected by the utilization of intellectual property rights protection. A monopoly maintained by using intellectual property rights might very well not extend the product life cycle beyond the limits posed by the shifting changes of fashion; moreover, an extended life cycle maintained in these circumstances could seriously limit the innovators agility in satisfying consumer demand in line with fashion trends and provoke an inappropriate allocation of resources to developing unfashionable innovations, resulting in a much greater risk of product failure.




Size is an important factor that affects cannibalism in wolf spiders (Lycosidae). This study investigated the time for cannibalism to occur among pairs of different sized, hungry wolf spiders. In addition, the preference for smaller conspecific prey in the presence of larger alternative prey was examined. This study was the first to look at cannibalism in the wolf spider species found on Mo’orea,Hogna crispipes. Like other genera within the Lycosid family, which are known to have cannibalistic tendencies,Hogna c.spiders are capable of cannibalizing. Cannibalism occurred in 87.5% of the spider pairs. Of the spiders that did not cannibalize, a majority were of the same size. In addition, in the pairs of spiders that did cannibalize there was a strong negative relationship between the time for cannibalism to occur and the difference in size between pairs of spiders. This relationship followed a trend, where the spider pairs that were more similar in size generally took longer to cannibalize than the spider pairs that had larger size differences (>3mm). Lastly medium sized spiders did not have a predation preference for smaller conspecifics over larger alternative prey. This study provides a foundation about cannibalism inH. crispipes.

Cover page of Why Plaintiffs Should Have to Prove Irreparable Harm in Copyright Preliminary Injunction Cases

Why Plaintiffs Should Have to Prove Irreparable Harm in Copyright Preliminary Injunction Cases


It has become lamentably common for courts to issue preliminary injunctions in copyright cases once rights holders have shown a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits without going on to require them to prove that they will suffer irreparable harm unless the injunction issues. Harm is too often presumed to be irreparable if plaintiffs have made out a prima facie case of infringement. This presumption cannot be squared with traditional principles of equity, as interpreted in numerous Supreme Court decisions, particularly eBay, Inc. v. MercExchange LLC, 547 U.S. 388 (2006).

While a presumption of irreparable harm is inappropriate in all copyright cases, it is particularly troublesome in cases involving transformative uses of existing works, such as parodies and remixes and mashups, because free expression and free speech interests of creative users are at stake and transformative uses cases often raise plausible non-infringement defenses. Indeed, if any presumption about harm is appropriate in transformative use cases, it should probably run in favor of irreparability of harm to the defendants’ free expression and speech interests under First Amendment case law which treats preliminary injunctions as presumptively unconstitutional prior restraints on speech.

Cover page of Author Autonomy and Atomism in Copyright Law

Author Autonomy and Atomism in Copyright Law


The power and ubiquity of personal computing and the Internet have enabled individuals - even impecunious amateurs - to create and communicate in ways that were previously possible only for well-funded corporate publishers. These individual creators are increasingly harnessing copyright law - insisting on ownership of their rights and controlling the ways in which those rights are licensed to others. Facebook users are demanding ownership of their online musings. Scholars are archiving their research online and refusing to assign their copyrights to publishers. Independent musicians are streaming their own songs and operating without record companies. Organizations like the Free Software Foundation are encouraging individual authors to manage their copyrights in innovative ways.

When the myriad individual authors empowered by today’s ubiquitous digital technology claim, retain, and manage their own copyrights, they exercise a degree of authorial autonomy that befits the Internet Age. But they simultaneously contribute to a troubling phenomenon I call "copyright atomism" - the proliferation, distribution, and fragmentation of the exclusive rights bestowed by copyright law, and of idiosyncratic permutations of those rights. The information and transaction costs associated with atomism could hamper future generations of technology-fueled creativity and thus undermine the very purpose of copyright: to encourage the creation and dissemination of works of authorship for the ultimate benefit of the public.

In this project I aim to place contemporary copyright atomism in historical and doctrinal context by documenting copyright law’s previous encounters with proliferated, distributed, and fragmented copyright ownership. Along the way I examine how copyright law has encouraged and discouraged atomism and managed its consequences. This history demonstrates the enduring relevance of my concerns within copyright policy, highlights countervailing interests, and provides a framework for thinking about how to alleviate the unfortunate consequences of atomism - and how not to.

Cover page of What Effects Do Legal Rules Have on Service Innovation

What Effects Do Legal Rules Have on Service Innovation


Intellectual property, contract, and tort laws likely have effects on levels of innovation in service sectors of the economy. Legal rules that are too strong or too strict may discourage investment in service innovation; yet, rules that are too weak or too loose may result in suboptimal investments in sound innovation. Intellectual property protections have traditionally been quite strong in protecting innovation in manufacturing sectors, but much less so in service sectors. Services have, for example, traditionally been unpatentable because they were perceived to be non-technological. Whether digital information services, such as web services, should be patentable is currently unsettled and highly controversial. Contract and tort rules are currently quite strict as to manufactured goods, but less so as to services. The emergence of digital information services raises questions about whether existing contract and tort rules governing goods or services should be applied to them, or whether some new legal rules are needed to promote innovation in digital information services and social welfare more generally.

Cover page of Privacy and Preemption

Privacy and Preemption


A broad coalition, including companies formerly opposed to the enactment of privacy statutes, has now formed behind the idea of a national information privacy law. Among the benefits that proponents attribute to such a law is that it would harmonize the U.S. regulatory approach with that of the European Union (E.U.) and possibly minimize international regulatory conflicts about privacy. This essay argues, however, that it would be a mistake for the United States to enact a comprehensive or omnibus federal privacy law for the private sector that preempts sectoral privacy law. In a sectoral approach, a privacy statute regulates only a specific context of information use. An omnibus federal privacy law would be a dubious proposition because of its impact on experimentation in federal and state sectoral laws, and the consequences of ossification in the statute itself. In contrast to its skepticism about a federal omnibus statute, this essay views federal sectoral laws as a promising regulatory instrument. The critical question is the optimal nature of a dual federal-state system for information privacy law, and this essay analyzes three aspects of this topic. First, there are general circumstances under which federal sectoral consolidation of state law can bring benefits. Second, the choice between federal ceilings and floors is far from the only preemptive decision that regulators face. Finally, there are second-best solutions that become important should Congress choose to engage in broad sectoral preemption.

Cover page of Statutory Damages in Copyright Law: A Remedy in Need of Reform

Statutory Damages in Copyright Law: A Remedy in Need of Reform


U.S. copyright law gives successful plaintiffs who promptly registered their works the ability to elect to receive an award of statutory damages, which can be granted in any amount between $750 and $150,000 per infringed work. This provision gives scant guidance about where in that range awards should be made, other than to say that the award should be in amount the court “considers just,” and that the upper end of the spectrum, from $30,000 to $150,000 per infringed work, is reserved for awards against “willful” infringers. Courts have largely failed to develop a jurisprudence to guide decision-making about compensatory statutory damage awards in ordinary infringement cases or about strong deterrent or punitive damage awards in willful infringement cases. As a result, awards of statutory damages are frequently arbitrary, inconsistent, unprincipled, and sometimes grossly excessive.

This Article argues that such awards are not only inconsistent with Congressional intent in establishing the statutory damage regime, but also with principles of due process articulated in the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence on punitive damage awards. Drawing upon some cases in which statutory damage awards have been consistent with Congressional intent and with the due process jurisprudence, this Article articulates principles upon which a sound jurisprudence for copyright statutory damage awards could be built. Nevertheless, legislative reform of the U.S. statutory damage rules may be desirable.

Cover page of Warrantless Wiretapping, FISA Reform, and the Lessons of Public Liberty: A Comment on Holmes' Jorde Lecture

Warrantless Wiretapping, FISA Reform, and the Lessons of Public Liberty: A Comment on Holmes' Jorde Lecture


This Essay responds to Stephen Holmes’ Jorde Lecture, which was delivered at Boalt Hall on November 5, 2007. It builds on his model of “public liberty” by discussing how private liberty, and information privacy in particular, is a precondition for public liberty. For Holmes, private liberty is largely a negative right—a right to be free from governmental interference. In contrast, this Essay considers privacy to be an element of public rights. Participation in a democracy requires individuals to have an underlying capacity for self-determination, which requires some personal privacy.

Through the lens of the recent amendment of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), this Essay analyzes a number of Holmesian concepts through. Its Part I describes the background of FISA, the National Security Agency’s (NSA) warrantless surveillance program in violation of this statute, and the amendments to this law in the Protect America Act of 2007, a short term statutory “fix” that has expired, and the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which remains in effect. Its Part II turns to an analysis of the challenges to private and public liberty posed by the NSA’s surveillance. This Part is organized around three topics: (1) past wisdom as codified in law; (2) the impact of secrecy on government behavior; and (3) institutional lessons. As we shall see, a Holmesian search for the wisdom previously collected in law proves quite difficult. FISA regulated some aspects of intelligence gathering and left the intelligence community entirely free to engage in others. Over time, moreover, technological innovations and altered national security concerns transformed the implications of the past policy landscape. As a result, the toughest questions, which concern surveillance of foreign-to-domestic communications, do not receive an easy answer from the past.

Regarding the impact of secrecy on government behavior, the analysis is, at least initially, more straightforward. As Holmes discusses, the Bush administration was adept at keeping secrets not only from the public and other branches of government, but from itself. It is also striking how little Congress knew about NSA activities while amending FISA. The larger lessons, however, prove yet more complicated: strong structural and political factors are likely to limit the involvement of Congress and courts in this area. This Essay concludes by confronting these institutional lessons and evaluating elements of a response that would improve the government’s performance by crafting new informational and deliberative structures for it.

Cover page of The Future of Tax Privacy

The Future of Tax Privacy


This essay considers the past, present, and future of tax privacy. Regarding the past, it took until 1976 for the concept of tax privacy to be explicitly established in statutory law. Congress established this concept in Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code, but has also made it subject to numerous exceptions. In the present, much personal financial information is now accessible out of the tax consent and is regulated by other statutes and regulations. This result has made the area of tax privacy somewhat less exceptional today as a regulatory area than in the past. Finally, in the future, tax information in the electronic age will be subject to the same critical issues, such as those involving data security, as other personal information. In conclusion, tax information remains important, but is increasingly subject to the same forces-- legal and technical-- as other personal information.

Cover page of Unbundling Fair Uses

Unbundling Fair Uses


Fair use has been invoked as a defense to claims of copyright infringement in a wide array of cases over the past thirty years, as when someone has drawn expression from an earlier work in order to parody it, quoted from an earlier work in preparing a new work on the same subject, published a photograph as part of a news story, made a time-shift copy of television programming, photocopied a document for submission as evidence in a litigation, reverse engineered a computer program to get access to interface information, cached websites to facilitate faster access to them, or provided links to images available on the Internet, just to name a few.

The wide array of fair use cases has led many commentators to complain that fair use is unpredictable. This Article argues that fair use law is both more coherent and more predictable than many commentators have perceived once one recognizes that fair use cases tend to fall into common patterns, or what this Article will call policy-relevant clusters. The policies underlie modern fair use law include promoting freedom of speech and of expression, the ongoing progress of authorship, learning, access to information, truth-telling or truth-seeking, competition, technological innovation, and privacy and autonomy interests of users. If one analyzes putative fair uses in light of cases previously decided in the same policy cluster, it is generally possible to predict whether a use is likely to be fair or unfair. Policy-relevant clustering is not a substitute for appropriate consideration of the statutory fair use factors, but provides another dimension to fair use analysis that complements four-factor analysis and sharpens awareness about how the statutory factors, sometimes supplemented by other factors, should be analyzed in particular contexts.

Parts I through V mainly provide a positive account of how fair use has been adjudicated in a variety of contexts and suggestions about factors that should be given greater or lesser weight in certain fair use policy clusters. Its articulation of the policy-relevant clusters into which the fair use cases typically fall should not, however, be understood as attempting to limn the outer bounds of fair use or to foreclose the development of new policy-relevant clusters. Part VI offers a more normative account of fair use as an integral and essential part of U.S. copyright law that can, in fact, encompass the wide range of fair uses discussed in the Article. It also recaps the key lessons from this Article’s qualitative assessment of the fair use case law and points to some encouraging trends in recent cases.