Intellectual Property Law in Fiction

I collect fiction in which intellectual property rules are a substantial part of the plot or setting. Here I will compile a list of novels and stories in which copyright, patent, or trademark law play a part.

Paolo Bacigalupi. The Windup Girl.

Set in future world in which most food crops have patented genetic sequences, giving food corporations immense power.


Cory Doctorow. Makers.

Characters using 3D printers and creating amusement rides draws the ire of entertainment companies.


Cory Doctorow. Pirate Cinema.

Teenage film enthusiasts create cinematic mashups and protest draconian copyright legislation.


William Gaddis. A Frolic of His Own.

In this satire of American litigiousness, a college professor sues a filmmaker for infringing on a play the professor wrote.


Paul Goldstein. Errors and Omissions.

Legal thriller in which a litigator is ensnared in a plot over copyright in a popular spy movie franchise.


Paul Goldstein. A Patent Lie.

Protagonist from Errrors and Omissions hired to litigate a patent over an HIV vaccine, dealing with subterfuge in and out of the courtroom.


Paul Goldstein. Havana Requiem.

Legal and political thriller involving copyright over popular Cuban music and U.S.-Cuba relations.


Year Zero. Rob Reid.

Earth is threatened when aliens discover they have been systematically infringing the copyrights of all music broadcast by radio into space.


The Android’s Dream. John Scalzi.

Humans face conflict with an alien race over finding a genetically engineered and patented creature.