IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

A Cautious Defense of Intellectual Oligopoly With Fringe Competition

  • Lemley Mark A.

    (Stanford Law School)

Registered author(s):

    In a 2008 paper, Michele Boldrin and David Levine offer a strong attack on intellectual property. While Boldrin and Levine make a plausible case, it is an exaggeration to say as they do that patents and copyrights are intellectual monopolies and are not necessary to encourage invention or creation. More significant is their claim that competition, not monopoly, drives innovation. Boldrin and Levine overstate the case for competitive innovation and understate the case for innovation driven by either market power or the prospect of acquiring market power through patent innovation. They are correct that we will get some innovation in many industries, and even the same level of innovation in some industries, without IP protection. But for most types of invention and creation we just can’t be confident that IP isn’t driving at least some innovation. On balance, IP protection will give us more benefit in the industries in which it spurs competitive innovation and fringe competition than the harm it causes in raising prices and constraining downstream innovation. It is, as Mike Scherer puts it, “a system that, despite its manifest imperfections, has worked tolerably well.” Nonetheless, Boldrin and Levine do point the way toward needed reforms of the IP system short of its abolition.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/rle.2009.5.3/rle.2009.5.3.1436/rle.2009.5.3.1436.xml?format=INT
    Download Restriction: For access to full text, subscription to the journal or payment for the individual article is required.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Review of Law & Economics.

    Volume (Year): 5 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 3 (December)
    Pages: 1025-1035

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:bpj:rlecon:v:5:y:2009:i:3:n:3
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.degruyter.com

    Order Information: Web: http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/rle

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bpj:rlecon:v:5:y:2009:i:3:n:3. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Golla)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.