When the framers of the Constitution charged Congress with "securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries," they couldn't have dreamed how complex intellectual property protection would become.
More than two centuries later the copyright, trademark and patent systems set in motion by that well-intentioned clause both vex and reward American businesses. On the one hand, IP litigation can be budget-busting. On the other, the value of protection for a company's creations and inventions can be almost limitless.
The stakes are high, and the impact on the economy is significant. As a result, both Congress and the Supreme Court are taking a new look at IP law.