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Full-Text Articles in Law

Justice Department's New Position On Patents, Standard Setting, And Injunctions, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2020

Justice Department's New Position On Patents, Standard Setting, And Injunctions, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

A deep split in American innovation policy has arisen between new economy and old economy innovation. In a recent policy statement, the Antitrust Division of the Justice Department takes a position that tilts more toward the old economy. Its December, 2019, policy statement on remedies for Standard Essential Patents issued jointly with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the National Institute of Standards and Technology reflects this movement.

The policy statement as a whole contains two noteworthy problems: one is a glaring omission, and the other is a mischaracterization of the scope of antitrust liability. Both positions are ...


Intellectual Property And Competition, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2019

Intellectual Property And Competition, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

A legal system that relies on private property rights to promote economic development must consider that profits can come from two different sources. First, both competition under constant technology and innovation promote economic growth by granting many of the returns to the successful developer. Competition and innovation both increase output, whether measured by quantity or quality. Second, however, profits can come from practices that reduce output, in some cases by reducing quantity, or in others by reducing innovation.

IP rights and competition policy were traditionally regarded as in conflict. IP rights create monopoly, which was thought to be inimical to ...


Product Differentiation, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2019

Product Differentiation, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The literature applying the economics of product differentiation to intellectual property has been called the most important development in the economic analysis of IP in years. Relaxing the assumption that products are homogeneous yields new insights by explaining persistent features of IP markets that the traditional approaches cannot, challenging the extent to which IP allows rightsholders to earn monopoly profits, allowing for sources of welfare outside of price-quantity space, which in turn opens up new dimensions along which intellectual property can compete. It also allows for equilibria with different welfare characteristics, making the tendency towards systematic underproduction more contingent and ...


European Community Law And Institutions In Perspective: Text, Cases And Readings, Josef Rohlik Nov 2016

European Community Law And Institutions In Perspective: Text, Cases And Readings, Josef Rohlik

Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law

No abstract provided.


Brulotte'S Web, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2015

Brulotte'S Web, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Kimble v. Marvel Entertainment held that stare decisis required the Supreme Court to adhere to the half century old, much criticized rule in Brulotte v. Thys. Justice Douglas' Brulotte opinion concluded that license agreements requiring royalties measured by use of a patent after its expiration are unenforceable per se. The court need not inquire into market power nor anticompetitive effects, effects on innovation, and it may not accept any defense. Congress can change the rule if it wants to, but has resisted many invitations to do so.

Under Brulotte a hybrid license on patents and trade secrets requires a royalty ...


Competition For Innovation, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Dec 2013

Competition For Innovation, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Both antitrust and IP law are limited and imperfect instruments for regulating innovation. The problems include high information costs and lack of sufficient knowledge, special interest capture, and the jury trial system, to name a few. More fundamentally, antitrust law and intellectual property law have looked at markets in very different ways. Further, over the last three decades antitrust law has undergone a reformation process that has made it extremely self conscious about its goals. While the need for such reform is at least as apparent in patent and copyright law, very little true reform has actually occurred.

Antitrust has ...


Competition In Information Technologies: Standards-Essential Patents, Non-Practicing Entities And Frand Bidding, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Oct 2012

Competition In Information Technologies: Standards-Essential Patents, Non-Practicing Entities And Frand Bidding, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Standard Setting is omnipresent in networked information technologies. Virtually every cellular phone, computer, digital camera or similar device contains technologies governed by a collaboratively developed standard. If these technologies are to perform competitively, the processes by which standards are developed and implemented must be competitive. In this case attaining competitive results requires a mixture of antitrust and non-antitrust legal tools.

FRAND refers to a firm’s ex ante commitment to make its technology available at a “fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory royalty.” The FRAND commitment results from bidding to have one’s own technology selected as a standard. Typically the FRAND ...


Antitrust And The Movement Of Technology, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2012

Antitrust And The Movement Of Technology, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Patents create strong incentives for collaborative development. For many technologies fixed costs are extremely high in relation to variable costs. A second feature of technology that encourages collaborative development is the need for interoperability or common standards. Third, in contrast to traditional commons, intellectual property commons are almost always nonrivalrous on the supply side. If ten producers all own the rights to make a product covered by a patent, each one can make as many units as it pleases without limiting the number that others can make. That might seem to be a good thing, but considered ex ante it ...


Markets In Ip And Antitrust, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Dec 2011

Markets In Ip And Antitrust, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The purpose of market definition in antitrust law is to identify a grouping of sales such that a single firm who controlled them could maintain prices for a significant time at above the competitive level. The conceptions and procedures that go into “market definition” in antitrust can be quite different from those that go into market definition in IP law. When the issue of market definition appears in IP cases, it is mainly as a query about the range over which rivalry occurs. This rivalry may or may not have much to do with a firm’s ability to charge ...


Antitrust And Patent Law Analysis Of Pharmaceutical Reverse Payment Settlements, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2011

Antitrust And Patent Law Analysis Of Pharmaceutical Reverse Payment Settlements, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Patent settlements in which the patentee pays the alleged infringer to stay out of the market are largely a consequence of the Hatch-Waxman Act, which was designed to facilitate the entry of generic drugs by providing the first generic producer to challenge a pioneer drug patent with a 180 day period of exclusivity. This period can be extended by a settlement even if the generic is not producing, and in any event all subsequent generic firms are denied the 180 day exclusivity period, significantly reducing their incentive to enter.

The Circuit Courts of Appeal are split three ways over such ...


Antitrust And Innovation: Where We Are And Where We Should Be Going, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2011

Antitrust And Innovation: Where We Are And Where We Should Be Going, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

For large parts of their history intellectual property law and antitrust law have worked so as to undermine innovation competition by protecting too much. Antitrust policy often reflected exaggerated fears of competitive harm, and responded by developing overly protective rules that shielded inefficient businesses from competition at the expense of consumers. By the same token, the IP laws have often undermined rather than promoted innovation by granting IP holders rights far beyond what is necessary to create appropriate incentives to innovate.

Perhaps the biggest intellectual change in recent decades is that we have come to see patents less as a ...


Notice And Patent Remedies, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2011

Notice And Patent Remedies, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In private enforcement systems such as the one for patents, remedies perform the “public” function of determining the optimal amount of protection and deterrence. If every patent were properly granted and had just the right scope to incentivize innovation, then strict enforcement and harsh penalties for infringement would be a good idea. But in a world where too many patents are granted, their boundaries are often ambiguous and scope excessive, things are not so simple. The expected likelihood and magnitude of the penalty determines the number of infringement suits and the litigation resources that will be poured into them. As ...


Creation Without Restraint: Promoting Liberty And Rivalry In Innovation, Christina Bohannan, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2011

Creation Without Restraint: Promoting Liberty And Rivalry In Innovation, Christina Bohannan, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This document contains the table of contents, introduction, and a brief description of Christina Bohannan & Herbert Hovenkamp, Creation without Restraint: Promoting Liberty and Rivalry in Innovation (Oxford 2011).

Promoting rivalry in innovation requires a fusion of legal policies drawn from patent, copyright, and antitrust law, as well as economics and other disciplines. Creation Without Restraint looks first at the relationship between markets and innovation, noting that innovation occurs most in moderately competitive markets and that small actors are more likely to be truly creative innovators. Then we examine the problem of connected and complementary relationships, a dominant feature of high technology markets. Interconnection requirements, technological compatibility requirements, standard setting, and the relationship between durable products and aftermarkets all involve interconnection, or “tying.” Some see tying as inherently anticompetitive, while others view it as unexceptionally benign. In fact, bundling products or technologies is essential in high technology markets and most of it is socially beneficial, but possibilities of abuse nevertheless remain.

Identifying good substantive legal rules for facilitating innovation is often very difficult. Two generations ago antitrust law addressed problems of complexity by shifting the focus to harm. The courts reasoned that they could often avoid unmanageable substantive doctrine by considering whether the plaintiff had suffered the appropriate kind of injury. Plaintiffs who are injured by more rather than less competition should be denied a remedy. In the case of patent and copyright law, the appropriate question is whether an infringer’s conduct served to undermine the right holder’s incentive to innovate, with incentives measured from before the innovation occurred. Some IP infringements do no harm to the incentive to innovate; others actually make the right more rather than less valuable. In these situations relief should be denied.

Patent and copyright law are both in crisis today – major problems include overissuance, overly broad and ambiguously defined protections, and rules that permit both patentees and copyright holders to make broad claims on unforeseen innovations. The result has been that many patents are valueless, while others have very considerable value precisely because they enclose ideas or technologies that rightfully belong in the public domain. Patent law could be ...


Ip And Antitrust: Reformation And Harm, Christina Bohannan, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2010

Ip And Antitrust: Reformation And Harm, Christina Bohannan, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Antitrust and intellectual property law both seek to improve economic welfare by facilitating competition and investment in innovation. At various times both antitrust and IP law have wandered off this course and have become more driven by special interests. Today, antitrust and IP are on very different roads to reform. Antitrust reform began in the late 1970s with a series of Supreme Court decisions that linked the plaintiff’s harm and right to obtain a remedy to the competition - furthering goals of antitrust policy. Today, patent law has begun its own reform journey, but it is in a much earlier ...


The Obama Administration And Section Two Of The Sherman Act, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2010

The Obama Administration And Section Two Of The Sherman Act, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

During the administration of President George W. Bush, the Antitrust Division was not enthusiastic about use of §2 of the Sherman Act to pursue anticompetitive single-firm conduct. Indeed, its most prominent contribution on the issue was the Antitrust Division’s §2 Report, which the Obama Antitrust Division withdrew only eight months after it was issued.This withdrawal was entirely in keeping with candidate Obama’s repeated promises to reinvigorate antitrust enforcement.

This essay analyzes the current state of antitrust and makes recommendations concerning structures and practices where increased §2 enforcement is warranted and those where it is not. Wise use ...


Unilateral Refusals To License In The U.S., Herbert J. Hovenkamp, Mark D. Janis, Mark A. Lemley Jun 2005

Unilateral Refusals To License In The U.S., Herbert J. Hovenkamp, Mark D. Janis, Mark A. Lemley

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Most antitrust claims relating to intellectual property involve challenges to agreements, licensing practices or affirmative conduct involving the use or disposition of the intellectual property rights or the products they cover. But sometimes an antitrust claim centers on an intellectual property owner's refusal to use or license an intellectual property right, perhaps coupled with efforts to enforce the intellectual property right against infringers. The allegation may be that the intellectual property right is so essential to competition that it must be licensed across the board, or that a refusal to license it to one particular party was discriminatory, or ...


Intellectual Property Rights And The World Trade Organization: Retrospect And Prospects, Giancarlo Moschini May 2003

Intellectual Property Rights And The World Trade Organization: Retrospect And Prospects, Giancarlo Moschini

CARD Working Papers

This paper analyzes the main economic issues of intellectual property rights (IPRs) protection in the context of the World Trade Organization (WTO). A retrospective view on the establishment of the TRIPS (trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights) Agreement, a still controversial accomplishment of the Uruguay Round of trade liberalization, is provided. The paper reviews the economic rationale for the harmonization of IPRs, drawing both on economic theory considerations as well as emerging empirical evidence. The logic of linking IPR protection and trade in the context of the WTO is also re-examined. Some specific attention is devoted to the implications of ...