Monday, May 24, 2010
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
ABSTRACT: Intellectual Property Laws and Anti-trust Laws have never really gotten together hand in hand. They both subscribe to two totally diametrically opposite views. It is however ironic to note that both these branches of our legal framework aim towards economic welfare. Given the importance of intellectual property in fostering economic progress, one might wonder whether our economies might progress even faster if intellectual property was more freely available for others to use and build upon – that is, treated more like a public good than private property. To answer this question, we must look into the very rationality as to why IP laws were given so much thought by our lawmakers. We must take into account that erosion of intellectual property rights would be extremely improvident. There is a strong unanimity today that a strong intellectual property regime is needed to provide the requisite motivation to undertake costly and risky investment in innovative activities.
It can be very expensive to conduct the research and development that is necessary to come up with new products and technologies, and there can be many failures before a successful innovation is achieved. There would be little inducement for firms to make such a risky investment in research and development if others could freely copy or use a successful innovation and prevent the inventor from substantiating well-earned rewards. Strong intellectual property rights are one of the most important means for providing those inducements.
Through this paper, the authors will try to emphasize upon the need for stronger IP Laws to foster more research and development in the important fields of science and technology and also try to prove why Intellectual Property must be kept outside the ambit of the new age Anti-Trust Laws.