Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Paradoxical Relationship: Intellectual Property Rights and the Competition Policy

Arahant Jain, University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun and Shubha Jindel, Gujarat National Law University discuss Paradoxical Relationship: Intellectual Property Rights and the Competition Policy.

ABSTRACT: Intellectual property can be best termed to be the creative work of the human intellect and its extrapolations. The driving force for its protection is to promote the progress of science and technology, arts, literature and other creative works and to encourage and reward creativity. Nations give statutory expression to the economic rights of creators in their creation and to the rights of the public in accessing those creations. The contribution of intellectual property is sine qua non for the industrial and economic development of a nation. It is pertinent to argue that the prosperity achieved by the developed nations is, to a large extent, the result of exploitation of their intellectual property. Intellectual Property Right allows people to assert ownership rights on the outcomes of their creativity and innovative activity in the same way that they can own physical property . Competition Policy on the other hand, is regulatory in nature, it aims at creating a market place filled with healthy competition, it aims at ensuring a really free and competitive market and to assure consumers low prices and high quality that flows from the effective competition. In order to achieve the aforementioned, it is necessary to curb abuse of market power. The process of competition has to be supported by regulations which preclude any attempt at subversion of free trade and competition. Competition cannot be left unfettered in the belief that it will drive out unfair trade practices. By enactment of a competition policy, the government takes the responsibility for assuring competition among private firms without otherwise interfering in their price and output decisions.

Intellectual property rights create monopolies, while a competition law battles monopolies. The convergence of these two domains opens up scope for redefining the way things work in the present market place in a developing economy such as India. These two domains complement each other when examined through their convergence, but at the same point this convergence needs to be monitored and regulated so as to prevent abuse of such market place position and ensure free markets.

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