“THE copyright and patent laws we have today look more like intellectual monopoly than intellectual property,” wrote Brink Lindsey and Steven Teles in their recent book about the US economy. Concerns about overprotection of intellectual property acting as a barrier to innovation and its diffusion are not new. But they have gained greater salience now that knowledge has emerged as a dominant driver of economic activity and competitive advantage. Digital technologies have enabled the emergence of an “intangible economy,” based on soft assets like algorithms and lines of code, rather than physical assets like buildings and machinery. In this environment, intellectual-property rules can now make or break business models and reshape societies, as they determine how economic gains are shared. Yet the…