Weekly Roundup: From Skyscraper Shadows to Trendy Foods

This week’s everyday economics includes property rights, trade, creative destruction, entitlements, tradeoffs, conservation, externalities, price, and markets.

Why Birthday Cat Is Grumpy

When deciding whether the Happy Birthday song has a copyright, we are really debating how broad or narrow intellectual property rights should be.

Weekly Roundup: From Apple’s Chimes to Boston’s Olympics

Our everyday economics includes innovation, incentives, environment, regulation, gender,monopolistic competition, oligopoly ,intellectual property and cost,

The Sounds That Can Sell a Product

For monopolistic competition and oligopoly, firms can achieve product differentiation through sounds that are associated with one good or service.

Weekly Roundup: From Steak Patents to Marijuana Taxes

Our everyday economics includes behavioral economics, trade barriers, taxes, entitlements, externalities, intellectual property and industrialization.

The Difference Between a Cheese Steak and a Designer Dress

Classified as intellectual property, a new cut of meat and a new dress design are viewed differently by patent and trademark laws.

When Is Technology Transfer Okay?

During the 18th century, Sweden gave cash to its “spies” in England so they could buy copper and iron production secrets. Meanwhile, England issued a patent to a chemist who just returned from Russia with a new brewing method. Moving in the other…

Can the Supreme Court Change How We Watch TV?

At the Supreme Court this week, broadcasters sought to stop a small firm from competing against them. Saying it was violating copyright law, ABC led a group challenging Aereo’s business model. Aereo uses tiny antennas to send programming to viewers…

(Not So) Dumb Starbucks

At New York’s 2nd Ave Deli, you can order the Instant Heart Attack and/or the Triple Bypass Sandwich. Listed on the menu like this (below), the sandwiches are trademarked. When the 2nd Ave. Deli trademarked its heart attack sandwiches, they consulted…

Innovation: Do We Need Software Patents?

Should intellectual property be protected? Thomas Jefferson said not necessarily. “…he who lights his taper at mine receives light without darkening me…” Consequently, “Invention … cannot be a subject of property.” Somewhat disagreeing, Alexander Hamilton perceived patents as incentives. People were…