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Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College,




This Essay, originally presented at Lewis & Clark Law School’s 2006 Distinguished Intellectual Property Visitor lecture, discusses the challenges involved in developing a uniform law of software contracting. Technology and the law have developed since 1995, when the first efforts to codify such a law began. These earlier efforts were largely unsuccessful, and substantial uncertainty still exists in transactions involving software. In this Essay, Dean O’Rourke discusses the American Law Institute’s Principles project that seeks to identify approaches courts could use in adjudicating disputes involving software agreements. The challenges of developing the Principles include the same theoretical, practical and political issues that destined other efforts to disappointment. By incorporating lessons learned from the earlier efforts, Dean O’Rourke hopes that the Principles project will prove more successful.

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