This conceptual paper introduces the important link between law and knowledge resources. We analyse the three key types of institutions: common law, civil law, and social norms, conventions and how they define the nature of property rights for knowledge resources and assets. Knowledge, because of its intangible nature and value, raises fundamental issues of, measurement and property rights that do not arise for more traditional, tangible assets. We provide a conceptual analysis on how to measure and assess the value of property rights for knowledge assets and knowledge networks. A key conclusion from our analysis is that informal institutions such as social norms and conventions are relatively superior to legal institutions such as common law and civil law in the analysis of property rights of knowledge assets and knowledge networks.
Keywords: property rights, law, common law, civil law, social norms, conventions, knowledge networks