- Hardcover: 280 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (September 17, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0195399781
- ISBN-13: 978-0195399783
- Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 0.8 x 6.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 41 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #780,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Knockoff Economy: How Imitation Sparks Innovation 1st Edition
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"Raustiala and Sprigman have some good news: copying and creativity can co-exist. Using extensive industry case studies of fashion, fonts, jokes, recipes, and other sectors, they remind us that a coherent intellectual property policy inherently involves trading off protection and imitation. Let us hope that policymakers get the message and restore balance to our intellectual property system."
-Hal Varian, Chief Economist, Google
"Policymakers still-astonishingly-have a mistake at the core of their understanding of how innovation happens. This beautifully written and brilliant book by two of America's most creative thinkers corrects that mistake, and launches an incredibly important project to understand just how much law creativity requires."
-Lawrence Lessig, author of Remix and The Future of Ideas
"Kal Raustiala and Christopher Sprigman have written a fascinating look at the surprising relationship between creating and copying. It's amazing to see the parallels across industries as diverse as cuisine, comedy and football."
-David Chang, Chef/Owner of Momofuku
"The Knockoff Economy is the most entertaining portent of doom I've read in a long time."
-Patton Oswalt, stand-up comedian and actor
"This book shines a powerful searchlight onto some neglected aspects of the intellectual property field, in the process revealing some fascinating insights that require us to rethink past assumptions about the incentives to create."
-David Nimmer, author of Nimmer on Copyright
About the Author
Kal Raustiala is Professor of Law at UCLA and the author of Does the Constitution Follow the Flag?
Christopher Sprigman is the Class of 1963 Research Professor at the University of Virginia School of Law.
Top customer reviews
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Creating `monopoly' rights is not a requirement for vibrant innovation, growth and creativity.
Rather than argue against IP protection, the authors provide examples of industries with low IP protections and a degree of copying that still have high levels of growth and innovation. In showing the positive, the authors provide a compelling and thoughtful view on the connection between protection and innovation.
Raustiala and Sprigman discuss innovation and growth in industries as diverse as fashion, football; stand up comedy, medicine, cuisine, fonts and high finance. The analysis and discussion of each of these industries is first rate providing a balanced, evolutionary and focused approach. I learned much about these industries simply by reading the relevant chapters. I also gained a fresh perspective on the role and type of innovation that works best for most industries based on continuous tweaking rather than bold invention.
This is a top rated book because of the summation and implications provided in the concluding chapter. Like any good TV attorney, the authors save the best for last. I recommend reading this book in the following order.
1. The introduction, then
2. The conclusion and the epilogue, then
3. The first chapter and the rest of the book.
Reading the conclusion second seems a bit disconcerting at times, but it brings a deeper appreciation to the arguments made in the middle chapters.
Share this book widely across the executive suite. I highly recommend it to those in Product Development, Corporate Strategy, CIO, CMO, CEO, CFO and the Chief Corporate Council. Too often we all get set in our ways of thinking, translate everything into dollars and cents, and ignore the possibility of alternative ways of competing. This book combats all of these tendencies, providing a fresh look at an important fundamental issue: innovation and IP.
The Knockoff Economy provides powerful arguments that require rethinking the view of intellectual property and creating deep disruption by changing industry terms. It is chocked full of useful concepts like the 'fashion cycle' the role of social and behavioral norms, six observations about innovation, IP and copying, etc.
Be warned this is not a business book in the traditional sense. The authors are not selling a five-step program, a framework or a solution. Rather they point out the limitations of an existing and deeply held belief that innovation requires protection against copying. This is an argument that leads you to create your own conclusions, but in light of digitalization, innovation and the pace of change, we all need new thinking in this area.
Major fields discussed are fashion, cuisine, comedy, magic, football, fonts, financial products such as mutual funds, and the music industry. Subjects explored include trends and life-cycles, enforcement through social norms, goods vs. experiences, open source development, first-mover advantage, and brands and counterfeits.
The authors propose that innovation can flourish regardless of intellectual property laws. Some important factors are sometimes overlooked in certain situations, such as the financial influences of the shift from domestic garment production to imports or changes in market size for music. Throughout there is discussion of the history of intellectual property laws and its quirks such as why some things are given protection and others aren't. Certain areas that would have contributed greatly to their argument, such as unique sharing of U.S. automobile technology intellectual property, are omitted entirely.
Although "The Knockoff Economy" isn't intended as a textbook but more of a popular economics book and sometimes seems like disconnected magazine articles held together as a book by a topical outline and a conclusion, I did learn a lot and enjoyed the many fascinating anecdotes. On the other hand, the tacked-on discussion of the music industry doesn't contain any major insights not already expressed elsewhere.
One particular thing that I found interesting was the brief discussion of how knockoffs can act as an advertisement for authentic goods and how a good percentage of consumers of counterfeit merchandise may later purchase the genuine brand. I also did not know that reason Advil has such a large share of the ibuprofen market is that Pfizer had a two year period of market exclusivity that ended decades ago. Some of the material is even humorous, such as the part about those Ugg boots or the D-list magician who made a television show revealing secrets and was ostracized by other magicians.