Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Innovation, Imitation and Open Source

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Rufus Pollock (Research Fellow, University of Cambridge), has written on Innovation, Imitation and Open Source.

ABSTRACT: An extensive empirical literature indicates that, even without formal intellectual property rights, innovators enjoy a variety of first-mover advantages and that `imitation' is itself a costly activity. There is also accumulating evidence that an `open' approach to knowledge production can deliver substantial efficiency advantages. This paper introduces a formal framework incorporating all of these factors. We examine the relative performance of an `open' versus a `closed' (proprietary) regime, and explicitly characterise the circumstances in which an open approach, despite its effect on facilitating imitation, results in a higher level of innovation.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/antitrustprof_blog/2008/12/innovation-imit.html

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