Duquesne University School of Law

Johns Hopkins University Press releases higher education and IP book

Friday, September 30, 2016

"An engaging and thought-provoking treatment of contemporary intellectual property issues in higher education, The Branding of the American Mind provides a well-documented exploration of the interrelationship between IP law and policy. Effectively using IP 'stories,' Rooksby highlights the tension between the 'public good' and 'private rights' and recommends changes in policy and law that would fortify higher education’s commitment to the public good." 


— William A. Kaplin, co-author of The Law of Higher Education  



The Branding of the American Mind:

How Universities Capture, Manage, and Monetize Intellectual Property and Why It Matters

Source: Johns Hopkins University Press

Universities generate an enormous amount of intellectual property, including copyrights, trademarks, patents, Internet domain names, and even trade secrets. Until recently, universities often ceded ownership of this property to the faculty member or student by whom it was created or discovered. Increasingly, though, universities have become protective of this property, claiming it for their own use instead of allowing it to remain in the public sphere. Many universities now behave like private firms, suing to protect trademarked sports logos, patents, and name brands.

Yet how can private rights accumulation and enforcement further the public interest in higher education? What is to be gained and lost as institutions become more guarded and contentious in their orientation toward intellectual property? In this pioneering book, law professor Jacob H. Rooksby uses a mixture of research methods to grapple with those central questions, exposing and critiquing the industry’s unquestioned and growing embrace of intellectual property from the perspective of research in law, higher education, and the social sciences.

While knowledge creation and dissemination have a long history in higher education, using intellectual property as a vehicle for rights staking and enforcement is a relatively new and, as Rooksby argues, dangerous phenomenon for the sector. The Branding of the American Mind points to higher education’s love affair with intellectual property itself, in all its dimensions, including newer forms that are less tied to scholarly output. The result is an unwelcome assault on the public’s interest in higher education.

Presuming no background knowledge of intellectual property, and ending with a call to action, The Branding of the American Mind explores applicable laws, legal regimes, and precedent in plain English, making the book appealing to anyone concerned for the future of higher education. 

The book is available for purchase through Johns Hopkins University Press and Amazon


Faculty Referenced In Article

Jacob H. Rooksby, J.D., M.Ed., Ph.D.Associate Dean of Administration and Associate Professor of Law