Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
ABSTRACT: This historical overview examines the relationship between antitrust policy and intellectual property in the United States since 1890. Over most of this history, judges imagined far greater conflicts between antitrust policy and intellectual property rights than actually existed, or else relied on sweeping generalizations rather than close analysis. For example, they often assumed that the presence of an intellectual property right led to anticompetitive effects where there was no basis for finding any injury to competition at all. At the other extreme, they often concluded that an intellectual property right immunized seriously anticompetitive conduct even when the intellectual property statute at issue did not authorize the challenged practice. True conflicts between antitrust and intellectual property rights are relatively rare.