Why Should Business Leaders Care about Intellectual Property?—Ayn Rand’s Radical Argument
This lecture by Adam Mossoff was delivered November 30, 2010, as part of the ARC Speaker Series.
The extraordinary achievements in the modern pharmaceutical, biotech, telecommunications and computer industries are dramatic evidence of the significance of intellectual property rights to human life and success. In this talk, law professor Adam Mossoff explains Ayn Rand’s radical justification for intellectual property rights: that all property is—at root—intellectual property. The property rights that are created and traded in our advanced capitalist system, whether in land, factories, consumer goods, securities, or inventions and books, are born of innovators who first conceived these new values.
In recognizing this fundamental truth, Rand is the only philosopher who offers a rational alternative to the anti-mind premise of judges, policy activists and professors who smear the owners of intellectual property as evil monopolists who steal from the so-called public domain. Rather, intellectual property rights represent the heart and core of property rights. Thus, every business and every pro-capitalist should embrace and defend the intellectual property rights—the patents, copyrights and trade secrets—that are the lifeblood of our free enterprise system.