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Competition Policy for Intellectual Property: Balancing Competition and Reward


  • Gilbert, Richard J
  • Weinschel, Alan J


This chapter reviews the history of antitrust enforcement for intellectual property and identifies reasons why appropriate antitrust enforcement for intellectual property may differ from antitrust enforcement for ordinary property. The complex interplay between the scope of patent protection and incentives for innovation in different industries make it difficult to craft antitrust rules that take these differences into account. Instead, antitrust policy generally should recognize that innovators need to be compensated for their innovative efforts, and that this sometimes requires practices that may exclude potential competitors. At the same time, one must be careful not to lean too heavily on practices that focus on rewards to innovation, because these practices incur costs in the short run by limiting the use of innovations and possibly in the long run by raising the costs for future innovators who use protected innovations as inputs into their own innovative efforts.
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Suggested Citation

  • Gilbert, Richard J & Weinschel, Alan J, 2005. "Competition Policy for Intellectual Property: Balancing Competition and Reward," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt76q6c9jh, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:compol:qt76q6c9jh

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2006. "Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 505-540.
    2. Hossain Tanjim & Morgan John, 2006. "...Plus Shipping and Handling: Revenue (Non) Equivalence in Field Experiments on eBay," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-30, January.
    3. Miao, Chun-Hui, 2010. "Consumer myopia, standardization and aftermarket monopolization," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 931-946, October.
    4. Richard H. Thaler, 2008. "Mental Accounting and Consumer Choice," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(1), pages 15-25, 01-02.
    5. Michael D. Smith & Erik Brynjolfsson, 2001. "Consumer Decision-making at an Internet Shopbot: Brand Still Matters," NBER Chapters,in: E-commerce, pages 541-558 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gilbert Richard J, 2006. "Competition and Innovation," Journal of Industrial Organization Education, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-23, December.
    2. 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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