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Damages and Injunctions in the Protection of Proprietary Research Tools

  • Mark Schankerman
  • Suzanne Scotchmer

Profit on proprietary research tools is determined partly by the remedies for infringement, such as damages and injunctions. We investigate how damages under a liability rule and the opportunity for injunctions under a property rule can affect the incentives to develop research tools. We show that the prevailing legal doctrine of damages under liability rule, called lost profit or reasonable royalty, suffers from a logical circularity which leads to an indeterminacy in permissible damages. This can create insufficient incentives to develop research tools. Incentives can be improved either by a property rule with injunctions or by a liability rule under the doctrine of unjust enrichment.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w7086.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7086.

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Date of creation: Apr 1999
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Publication status: published as Schankerman, Mark & Scotchmer, Suzanne, 2001. "Damages and Injunctions in Protecting Intellectual Property," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 199-220, Spring.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7086
Note: PR LE
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  1. Jerry R. Green & Suzanne Scotchmer, 1995. "On the Division of Profit in Sequential Innovation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(1), pages 20-33, Spring.
  2. Jean O. Lanjouw & Josh Lerner, 1996. "Preliminary Injunctive Relief: Theory and Evidence from Patent Litigation," NBER Working Papers 5689, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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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