Kali Murray

Document Type

Symposia Article


This Essay explores how Gerhart’s theory of social obligation in property law offers us an innovative way to characterize key theories in patent law. Consequently, throughout this Essay, I employ lessons from patent law that provide a concrete example of how obligations may work in various doctrinal subjects. Part I outlines the basic contours of Gerhart’s theory of obligation. Part II outlines the three basic functions of obligation in property and intellectual property theory. It is hoped that this Essay will serve a substantive function by continuing the ongoing dialogue between property law and intellectual property law in ways that fully account for the public interests that accrue in both areas of the law.



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