So why else learn about intellectual property law? Well, in addition to it being at the core of our economy, there's been an enormous expansion and the activities surrounding intellectual property law over the last several decades and in particular in accelerating over the last five to ten years. As you might expect, IP plays a large and larger role, in our social and business life. As you would, expect there are more patents every year, more copyrights, trademarks are expanding. So there is enormous expansion and activity which is probably one of the reason you're interested in this course. At the same time, even as we're expanding like crazy, how much IP we have out there and the way that we use IP. We don't know very much about intellectual property law in terms of whether it actually works. We think it does. We certainly believe that it has a positive outcome, but we don’t really know for sure a whole lot about the true cost versus the benefits of the system. We know for sure that the cost of the IP system are increasing, and in week two we're going to talk a lot about what the cost of the system are. But just to think about it for a moment here, as we get more patents for example, that requires more patent examiners, right? More applications for patents for being filed, you have to hire more examiners to evaluate them. As you have more patents being processed and being issued, you have more potential for litigation. And more potential for litigation means more lawyers are involved in patents and both in terms of evaluating patents, and in terms of actually litigating those patents. If you're trying to create a product or service now, you have to take account of patents, copyrights, trademarks. There are more of those everyday, it becomes more and more complex to create a product, a good, or a service and get that shipped without worrying about infringing somebody's intellectual property rights. So those are all costs of the system. The costs of the system continue if you're going to actually enforce your intellectual property rights, it's enormously expensive. Patent law in particular is one of the most expensive areas of litigation. Copyright law cases can last years. Trademark cases are often extremely complex as well, requiring all kinds of survey and other type of evidence that can be very expensive to collect. These things make the IP system a very expensive experiment. And it is an experiment, because we don't know exactly what the benefits are. We think that we know what the benefits are and again, in week two we're going to talk a lot in detail about what we think the benefits are. But the interesting thing and one of the reasons that I find IP law so interesting to study is we don't really know. So in the US we've never not had an intellectual property system. The patent law for example was one of the very first laws enacted by the US Congress. So we really have not been able to point to any particular time in our history where we didn't have this type of system, in order to say, did it work better back then? That goes the same for most of the other developed countries in the world. Pretty much all the countries in the world have IP systems that are quite similar to those that we're going to be talking about throughout the next four weeks. So we really don't have a good natural experiment that we could use to try and evaluate what the benefits of the system really are and in fact, most importantly how big those benefits are. So is the systems cost increases? Are the benefits increasing as well? Because this is really a cost benefit analysis. The system is not all good, it's not all bad, it's a mixed. And one of the things we don't really know very well is which dominates. Is there point at which there is just too many intellectual property rights, or are we a long ways from that? Can we continue to expand? Can we continue to use our patent rights, our copyrights and trademarks even more than we are now and we to build our economy. We just don't know. The other thing is really interesting to me about intellectual property law is that the rule are not set, at least not yet. The rules probably more so than any other area of law are influx. And that's not only because the laws themselves change all the time. They do change, the courts have new decisions almost everyday on intellectual property law and so keeping up with that is often a challenge in and of itself. But the most interesting thing about the intellectual property law is it the same time you have this law that is changing. You've got this completely dynamic undercurrent of technology, of business models, of the economy changing so quickly. That means that every day even if the law never changes, even if the law on the books or the court decisions never change we'd still have in a completely different way of thinking about intellectual property law in the future. Because the technology has changed, the economics have changed, the business models have changed. And so therefore, it's really true that the rules are not yet set. And the rules are not yet set it means that IP, the regulatory framework of a new economy. This is what the new economy is all about, it means if you know it you can help set the rules. And I think that's really at the end of the day. Why this is the most interesting area to study? Is because people who can understand the technology, the business, and the legal principles surrounding an intellectual property law are the ones who are really going to set the rules for the future. And if you set the rules in IP, you're going to set the rules for the new economy and be able to determine how things are going to work in the future. And I think that's a really exciting reason to study intellectual property law.