Expropriation by Law

Intellectual Property, Value and Labor

Christian Bessy

Informations techniques

Éditeur : Edward Elgar Publishing
Lieu d’édition : Cheltenham, UK
ISBN : 978 1 03532 614 3
Date de parution : 15 février 2024
204 p.

Traduction en anglais de l’ouvrage de Christian Bessy, L’expropriation par le droit, propriété intellectuelle, valeur et travail, EHESS, 2022.


Christian Bessy, économiste, directeur de recherche au CNRS, dirige l’IDHES à l’ENS Paris-Saclay.
Ses recherches portent notamment sur les rapports entre droit et économie.


Placing himself at the crossroads of economics, law, and sociology, Christian Bessy investigates the contemporary transformation of intellectual property rights (IPR) with the emergence of new conventions for their valuation. He demonstrates how things previously considered inappropriate have now become the object of property rights by means of a creeping legal codification.

The book examines how the extension of IPRs has given rise to new forms of expropriation of the wealth produced, allowing companies to protect their investments in intangible assets. Presenting an original basis of legal disputes and decisions concerning the attribution of IPRs, chapters illustrate that patents are at the heart of the economic development of multinationals, start-ups, and the rise of new technologies. Bessy traces the contours of the appropriation of intellectual creation and the new class of lawyers who participate in it, drawing a portrait of contemporary capitalism in which the grip of law threatens the pioneers of innovation.

Challenging the mainstream thinking dominating the theoretical literature on IPRs, Expropriation by Law will be an essential text for postgraduate students and researchers of the economics of innovation and IP law. Its original empirical analysis will also prove insightful to industrial economists, policymakers, IP lawyers and innovation managers in cultural and creative industries.


1. Introduction to Expropriation by Law
2. Economic and legal controversies around IPRs
3. Conventions for patent use and legal intermediaries
4. The competition–cooperation of IP lawyers and IP consultants
5. The construction of European patent law by legal intermediaries
6. The politics of inventors
7. The appropriation of creative work
8. Conclusion to Expropriation by Law



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