A Cautious Defense of Intellectual Oligopoly With Fringe Competition
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 cant be confident that IP isnt 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.
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.
Volume (Year): 5 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: https://www.degruyter.com|
|Order Information:||Web: https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/rle|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Boldrin,Michele & Levine,David K., 2010.
"Against Intellectual Monopoly,"
Cambridge University Press, number 9780521127264.
- Boldrin,Michele & Levine,David K., 2008. "Against Intellectual Monopoly," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521879286.
- Michele Boldrin & David K Levine, 2008. "Against Intellectual Monopoly," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000002371, UCLA Department of Economics.
- James Bessen & Michael J. Meurer, 2008. "Introduction to Patent Failure: How Judges, Bureaucrats, and Lawyers Put Innovators at Risk," Introductory Chapters,in: Patent Failure: How Judges, Bureaucrats, and Lawyers Put Innovators at Risk Princeton University Press. Full references (including those not matched with 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.