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German Working Papers in Law and Economics
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Volume 2006

AUTHOR:
Dieter Schmidtchen

TITLE:
Die Beziehung zwischen dem Wettbewerbsrecht und dem Recht geistigen Eigentums – Konflikt, Harmonie oder Arbeitsteilung? - The Relationship between Antitrust Law and Intellectual Property Law – Conflict, Accommodation or Division of Labour?

SUGGESTED CITATION:
Dieter Schmidtchen (2006) "Die Beziehung zwischen dem Wettbewerbsrecht und dem Recht geistigen Eigentums – Konflikt, Harmonie oder Arbeitsteilung? - The Relationship between Antitrust Law and Intellectual Property Law – Conflict, Accommodation or Division of Labour?", German Working Papers in Law and Economics: Vol. 2006: Article 28.
http://www.bepress.com/gwp/default/vol2006/iss1/art28


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ABSTRACT:

The relationship between the Antitrust Law and the Patent, Copyright and other Intellectual Property (IP) Laws has perplexed antitrust scholars and practitioners for a long time. Intellectual property and antitrust regimes both seek to advance the economic well-being of society. However, whereas the IP laws are designed to create exclusive rights – rights that sometimes rise to the level of monopolies – in order to encourage innovation and creativity, Antitrust Law is designed to foster competition and to prevent the formation of monopolies. Finding the right balance between maintaining competition and creating incentives to innovate is no easy task. This paper emphasises a division of labour: IP law should concern itself with assigning and enforcing intellectual property rights, while Antitrust Law should concern itself with the use of those rights for anti-competitive purposes. I develop the main thesis in three parts: The first part of the paper outlines the economics of IP rights. The second part presents basics of Antitrust Law. The third part deals with some specificity of the IP/Antitrust Law interface: Reasons giving rise for special concerns are found in the areas of mergers, licensing and cross-licensing, patent pools, grant-backs, practices to extend the legal patent monopoly beyond the life of the patent, interfaces and interoperability in networks, umbrella branding, and compulsory trademark licensing. The last part of the paper summarises with a set of principles for competition policy.




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