Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

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

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Harmonizing Antitrust and Patent Law

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Elizabeth I. Winston, Catholic University of America (CUA) - Columbus School of Law attempts Harmonizing Antitrust and Patent Law.

ABSTRACT: Antitrust and intellectual property laws promote innovation and competition. As long as the costs of promotion do not exceed the benefit to society, then the laws act in harmony. Discord arises when patent holders use public and private ordering to restrain competition, restrict downstream trade, prevent the development of competing products and limit output by competitors. Using the Patent Act and the misperception of antitrust immunity to create a parallel and under-regulated legal system allows a small number of patent holders to coordinate their behavior to maximize profits and minimize competition. The Patent Act provides no shield to prosecution for antitrust violations - such is a patent misperception only. Harmony comes from balancing the costs of protection with the benefit to society. Innovation is best protected through the protection of intellectual property rights and the protection of competition.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/antitrustprof_blog/2011/09/harmonizing-antitrust-and-patent-law.html

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