Maps of Intellectual Property

version 3.0

last updated: January 24, 2013

Copyright Law

Patent Law

Trademark Law

Theories of Intellectual Property

These four maps contain overviews of the principal fields of intellectual property law. The maps do not aspire to be treatises; they are not comprehensive, and some of the interpretations they offer of current legal doctrine are controversial. Rather, they are designed to be used as teaching aids. To that end, they attempt to describe and organize the main rules in each field, paying particular attention to significant recent developments and to especially controversial or unstable issues.

How to use one of these maps:

The maps and all of the collateral slide presentations are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Sharealike 2.5 License, the terms of which are available here.

In preparing and updating the maps, I received enormous help from June Casey and Karen Storin Linitz of the Harvard Law School Library, Andrew Moshirnia, a Harvard Law School student with a deep background in educational technology, and Ken Hirschman, General Counsel of Mindjet -- the company that generously supplied the Mindmanager software and Catalyst subscriptions that were used to create and share the maps.

If you make use of these materials and find flaws in them -- errors that need to be corrected, gaps that need to be filled, or references to rules that have been superceded -- I would be grateful if you would let me know. It's best to send me such suggestions via email: Please use the words "IP Maps" in the subject line.

William Fisher