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The Scope Of Intellectual Property Rights and their Interface with Competition Law and Policy: Divergent Paths to the Same Goal?

  • Beatrice Dumont
  • Peter Holmes

In this paper, we look at the interface between competition law and policy and intellectual property rights (IPRs) and we draw attention to a number of specific issues which have arisen in recent years and some of the conflicting costs and benefits of IPRs for competition (mainly in the context of sequential innovation) and economic efficiency. We show that if competition policy and IPRs are complementary means of promoting innovation, technical progress and economic growth to the benefit of consumers, these common goals, however, are pursued by different instruments Thus, a balance between these two different instruments, apparently in conflict, has to be found. In particular, we consider the extent to which competition law should impinge on the use of rights once granted and we examine whether and to what extent competition policies should consider the question of incentives for innovation is a key aspect of evaluating the competitive effects of IPRs licences.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Economics of Innovation and New Technology.

Volume (Year): 11 (2002)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 149-162

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Handle: RePEc:taf:ecinnt:v:11:y:2002:i:2:p:149-162
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  1. Josh Lerner, 2002. "150 Years of Patent Protection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 221-225, May.
  2. Suzanne Scotchmer, 1991. "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Cumulative Research and the Patent Law," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 29-41, Winter.
  3. Mazzoleni, Roberto & Nelson, Richard R., 1998. "The benefits and costs of strong patent protection: a contribution to the current debate," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 273-284, July.
  4. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jaffe, Adam B., 2000. "The U.S. patent system in transition: policy innovation and the innovation process," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 531-557, April.
  6. Kitch, Edmund W, 1977. "The Nature and Function of the Patent System," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(2), pages 265-90, October.
  7. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1987. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial Research and Development," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(3), pages 783-832.
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