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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Beatrice Dumont & Peter Holmes, 2002. "The Scope Of Intellectual Property Rights and their Interface with Competition Law and Policy: Divergent Paths to the Same Goal?," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(2), pages 149-162.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ecinnt:v:11:y:2002:i:2:p:149-162 DOI: 10.1080/10438590210901

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
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    4. 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.
    5. Josh Lerner, 2002. "150 Years of Patent Protection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 221-225, May.
    6. 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, Specia), pages 783-832.
    7. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Padmashree Gehl Sampath, 2010. "Economic Aspects of Access to Medicines after 2005: Product Patent Protection and Emerging Firm Strategies in the Indian Pharmaceutical Industry," Working Papers id:3336, eSocialSciences.
    2. Flikkema, M.J. & Man, A.P. de & Wolters, M.J.J., 2010. "New trademark registration as an indicator of innovation: results of an explorative study of Benelux trademark data," Serie Research Memoranda 0009, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
    3. Gehl Sampath, Padmashree, 2006. "Breaking the Fence: Patent Rights and Biomedical Innovation in 'Technology Followers'," MERIT Working Papers 008, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    4. Cristiano Antonelli, 2003. "Knowledge Complementarity and Fungeability: Implications for Regional Strategy," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(6-7), pages 595-606.
    5. Basant, Rakesh, 2017. "Exploring Linkages between Innovation and public policy- challenges and Opportunities," IIMA Working Papers WP 2017-11-01, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Research and Publication Department.
    6. Singh, Ajit & Dhumale, Rahul, 1999. "Competition policy and development: key issues for developing countries – a briefing," MPRA Paper 53478, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Cristiano Antonelli, 2004. "The Governance of Localized Technological Knowledge and the Evolution of Intellectual Property Rights," Chapters,in: The Elgar Companion to the Economics of Property Rights, chapter 19 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. Holmes, Peter, 2004. "The WTO and Domestic Regulation," Centre on Regulation and Competition (CRC) Working papers 30630, University of Manchester, Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM).
    9. Shastitko, A. & Kurdin, A., 2014. "Protection of Intellectual Property Rights and Competition Policy: Seeking for a Better Balance," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 111-135.


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