Thursday, September 8, 2011
Intellectual Property Rights and Market Power in the European Union: The Fil Rouge of Consumer Welfare
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
Andrea Stazi, European University of Rome, Luiss Guido Carli University of Rome, University of Bologna has posted Intellectual Property Rights and Market Power in the European Union: The Fil Rouge of Consumer Welfare.
ABSTRACT: Intellectual property rights are commonly defined as exclusive rights in the sense that they vest only some people, usually creators or inventors, with the exclusive right to dispose of their intellectual works. Such a definition, however, is often misunderstood and IPRs are intended as a sort of guarantee towards the recoupment of the expenses incurred in the inventive or creative activity. On the contrary, intellectual property rights come with intrinsic limitations. First of all, their duration is limited. Secondly, the faculties granted to inventors or creators bear limitations and they do not confer an absolute control over their intangible creations. In fact, several tradeoffs exist within intellectual property paradigms, which make the protection conditional on the fact that the intangible knowledge comes immediately to the enrichment of society at large. Because commentators, generally economists, use to refer to intellectual property rights as monopolies, there is a widespread misleading belief that patents and copyrights entitle the author to obtain a monopoly in the economic sense. This is very far from reality.