David Olson, assistant professor of law
JD, Harvard Law School
Representative presentation: “Towards a First Amendment Foundation for Copyright Misuse,” 7th Annual Intellectual Property Scholars Conference, DePaul University College of Law, August 2007
I am interested in the study of intellectual property law, and specifically how we encourage the production of the optimal amount of art and innovation, while leaving a rich commons from which other authors, artists, and inventors may incorporate elements into their own innovations. My current research involves suggesting developments to copyright policy to make fair-use rights more effective, and seeking frameworks to determine what types of innovation should be patentable.
I am also very interested in studying the way that innovation actually occurs. I am devising methods of studying the incidence of simultaneous or near-simultaneous invention. Information about how invention occurs and how often multiple persons are inventing the same things at roughly the same time can be valuable in assessing how well our patent laws actually encourage innovation that would not otherwise occur.