Grant Hammond


Intellectual property; Idea (Philosophy)

Document Type



The received wisdom is that an idea as such is not legally protected. But now courts are embarking on a course which, at least in some respects, embraces the proposition that ideas will sometimes be protected. This essay suggests that these contemporary developments in the common law world should be regarded with disquiet. Courts are sanctioning the commercial exploitation of ideas in the face of an apparent desire of human beings to reduce every aspect of themselves to divisible, saleable commodities. Short term commercial gain is preferred to the timeless importance of ideas in the seamless web of humanity. This essay protests this trend, and looks at other possibilities in terms of social vision, theory, and possible political response.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.