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Antitrust

Intellectual Property Law

Boston University School of Law

Faculty Scholarship

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Competition And Innovation: The Breakup Of Ig Farben, Felix Poege Aug 2022

Competition And Innovation: The Breakup Of Ig Farben, Felix Poege

Faculty Scholarship

The relationship between competition and innovation is difficult to disentangle, as exogenous variation in market structure is rare. The 1952 breakup of Germany’s leading chemical company, IG Farben, represents such a disruption. After the Second World War, the Allies occupying Germany imposed the breakup because of IG Farben’s importance for the German war economy instead of standard antitrust concerns. In technology areas where the breakup reduced concentration, patenting increased strongly, driven by domestic firms unrelated to IG Farben. An analysis of patent texts shows that an increased propensity to patent does not drive the effect. Descriptively, IG Farben’s successors increased …


Trademark, Labor Law, And Antitrust, Oh My!, Jessica Silbey Sep 2021

Trademark, Labor Law, And Antitrust, Oh My!, Jessica Silbey

Faculty Scholarship

I am allergic to antitrust law, but after reading Hiba Hafiz’s recent article, I understand that my aversion is problematic. This paper combines an analysis of trademark law, labor law, and antitrust law to explain how employers exploit trademark law protections and defenses to control labor markets and underpay and under-protect workers. For most IP lawyers and professors, this article will open our minds to some collateral effects of trademark law’s consumer protection rationale on other areas of law with important consequences for economic and social policies.


Fair Use In Oracle: Proximate Cause At The Copyright/Patent Divide, Wendy J. Gordon Mar 2020

Fair Use In Oracle: Proximate Cause At The Copyright/Patent Divide, Wendy J. Gordon

Faculty Scholarship

In Oracle America, Inc. v. Google LLC, the Federal Circuit undermined copyright law’s deference to patent law and, in doing so, delivered a blow to both regimes. Copyright’s deference— including a historic refusal to enforce rights that might undermine the public’s liberty to copy unpatented inventions-- is a necessary part of preserving inventors’ willingness to accept the short duration, mandatory disclosure, and other stringent bargains demanded by patent law. Deference to patent law is also integral to copyright law’s interior architecture; copyright’s refusal to monopolize functional applications of creative work lowers the social costs that would otherwise be imposed by …


Price Discrimination & Intellectual Property, Michael J. Meurer, Ben Depoorter Jan 2019

Price Discrimination & Intellectual Property, Michael J. Meurer, Ben Depoorter

Faculty Scholarship

This chapter reviews the law and economics literature on intellectual property law and price discrimination. We introduce legal scholars to the wide range of techniques used by intellectual property owners to practice price discrimination; in many cases the link between commercial practice and price discrimination may not be apparent to non-economists. We introduce economists to the many facets of intellectual property law that influence the profitability and practice of price discrimination. The law in this area has complex effects on customer sorting and arbitrage. Intellectual property law offers fertile ground for analysis of policies that facilitate or discourage price discrimination. …


The Role Of Design Choice In Intellectual Property And Antitrust Law, Stacey Dogan Nov 2016

The Role Of Design Choice In Intellectual Property And Antitrust Law, Stacey Dogan

Faculty Scholarship

When is it appropriate for courts to second-guess decisions of private actors in shaping their business models, designing their networks, and configuring the (otherwise non-infringing) products that they offer to their customers? This theme appears periodically but persistently in intellectual property and antitrust, especially in disputes involving networks and technology. In both contexts, courts routinely invoke what I call a “non-interference principle” — the presumption that market forces ordinarily bring the best outcomes for consumers, and that courts and regulators should not meddle in the process. This non-interference principle means, for example, that intermediaries need not design their networks to …


Antitrust And Intellectual Property: A Brief Introduction, Keith N. Hylton Aug 2016

Antitrust And Intellectual Property: A Brief Introduction, Keith N. Hylton

Faculty Scholarship

Intellectual property law and antitrust have been described as conflicting bodies of law, and the reason is easy to see. Antitrust law aims to protect consumers from the consequences of monopolization. Intellectual property law seeks to enhance incentives to innovate by granting monopolies in ideas or expressions of ideas. The purpose of this chapter is to explore the purported conflict between antitrust and intellectual property. The chapter is largely descriptive, and focuses on current or developing litigation rather than historical controversies. Many of the modern examples of conflict can be attributed to problems of classification.


Ip Injury And The Institutions Of Patent Law, Paul Gugliuzza Jan 2013

Ip Injury And The Institutions Of Patent Law, Paul Gugliuzza

Faculty Scholarship

This paper reviews Creation Without Restraint: Promoting Liberty and Rivalry in Innovation, the pathbreaking book by Christina Bohannan and Herbert Hovenkamp (Oxford Univ. Press 2012). The Review begins by summarizing the book’s descriptive insights and analyzing one of its important normative proposals: the adoption of an IP injury requirement. This requirement would demand that infringement plaintiffs prove -- before obtaining damages or an injunction -- an injury to the incentive to innovate. After explaining how this requirement is easy to justify under governing law and is largely consistent with recent Supreme Court decisions in the field of patent law, the …


Gaining Momentum: A Review Of Recent Developments Surrounding The Expansion Of The Copyright Misuse Doctrine And Analysis Of The Doctrine In Its Current Form, Woodrow Hartzog Jan 2004

Gaining Momentum: A Review Of Recent Developments Surrounding The Expansion Of The Copyright Misuse Doctrine And Analysis Of The Doctrine In Its Current Form, Woodrow Hartzog

Faculty Scholarship

The United States intellectual property ("IP") system is the foundation for incentives for authors and inventors to create and invent so that their work will be distributed to the public for the betterment of society. These incentives, in the form of limited monopolies over creations via patents, copyrights, and trademarks, are becoming increasingly important as the United States depends upon intellectual property to sustain its economy. As the intellectual property industry grows, it becomes vital to preserve the impetus behind its creation: the public good, or more specifically, the public's ability to make use of and enjoy new ideas and …


Vertical Restraints And Intellectual Property Law: Beyond Antitrust, Michael J. Meurer Jan 2003

Vertical Restraints And Intellectual Property Law: Beyond Antitrust, Michael J. Meurer

Faculty Scholarship

This Article describes how intellectual property (IP) law regulates six types of vertical restraints: restrictions on the field or location of use; restrictions on sharing; control over the frequency of use; restrictions on repair and modification; packaging requirements; and impediments to a buyer's decision to exit its relationship with a seller. There are three reasons to focus on IP oversight of vertical restraints separately from antitrust oversight. First, IP law covers a broader range of vertical restraints. Second, economic analysis of the antitrust-IP conflict focuses mainly on the potential of vertical restraints to exclude downstream competitors. IP doctrines that regulate …


Striking A Delicate Balance: Intellectual Property, Antitrust, Contract And Standardization In The Computer Industry, Maureen A. O'Rourke Jan 1998

Striking A Delicate Balance: Intellectual Property, Antitrust, Contract And Standardization In The Computer Industry, Maureen A. O'Rourke

Faculty Scholarship

Shortly before the Second Intermational Harvard Conference on Internet & Society, the Department of Justice ("DOJ") brought a widely publicized suit against the Microsoft Corporation. In its complaint, the DOJ charged Microsoft with engaging in a variety of antitrust wrongs connected with its alleged monopoly position in the market for personal computer ("PC") operating system software. The Conference panel on Antitrust and the Internet, which had planned to focus on how antitrust law affects standard-setting efforts and the implications for the Intermet, quickly abandoned that topic in favor of discussion of the Microsoft suit.