Amazon just delivered PFF's copy of William Landes & Richard Posner, The Economic Structure of Intellectual Property Law (Harvard Univ. Press 2003). It starts out with a few numbers on the growing importance of IP in the world of law and econ:
+ Increase in patents issued annually from 1985 to 2001: 111,000 to 260,000.
+ Increase in annual U.S. receipts from foreign trade in IP from 1987 to 1999: $10 billion to $36.5 billion.
+ Increase in percentage of federal civil cases involving disputes over intellectual from 1985 to 2001: 100%.
+ Increase in membership of the Intellectual Property Section of the American Bar Association from 1980 to 2001: 5,526 to 21,670.
+ Increase in number of law journals specializing in IP, technology, and art from 1980 to 2003: 2 to 26. [N.B. This seems low to me; a Stanford University Libraries website on copyright has 62 links to journals on the law of IP & technology.]
+ Increase in number of articles in economics journals dealing with IP from 1982 to 2000: 5 to 235.
+ And so on.
A work by these authors is of course AN EVENT for anyone interested in law, economics, and intellectual property. More comment will forthcome after we have a chance to read it.