Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1407798
 
 

Citations (1)



 
 

Footnotes (47)



 


 



A Cautious Defense of Intellectual Oligopoly with Fringe Competition


Mark A. Lemley


Stanford Law School

May 1, 2009

Review Law & Economics, Vol. 5, No. 3, 2009
Stanford Law and Economics Olin Working Paper No. 374

Abstract:     
Michele Boldrin and David Levine offer a strong attack on intellectual property (IP), which they call “intellectual monopoly.” In their view, IP is not necessary to encourage invention or creation. Quite the contrary, they argue that we get innovation from competition, not monopoly. Further, because monopoly imposes well-recognized social costs, we are better off without it if it doesn’t in fact spur new innovation.

Boldrin and Levine make a plausible case on their own terms. Nonetheless, I think their terms are misleading. IP rights are rarely if ever “intellectual monopolies.” Most patents, to say nothing of most copyrights, create no economic rents. What this means is that we can’t assume that IP rights generally impose deadweight losses on society. They cause deviation from atomistic, perfect competition, but they don’t cause monopoly pricing. With a small number of exceptions, therefore, they don’t cause the social harms Boldrin and Levine correctly associate with monopoly pricing.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 13

Accepted Paper Series


Download This Paper

Date posted: May 21, 2009 ; Last revised: February 6, 2011

Suggested Citation

Lemley, Mark A., A Cautious Defense of Intellectual Oligopoly with Fringe Competition (May 1, 2009). Review Law & Economics, Vol. 5, No. 3, 2009; Stanford Law and Economics Olin Working Paper No. 374. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1407798

Contact Information

Mark A. Lemley (Contact Author)
Stanford Law School ( email )
559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 1,451
Downloads: 243
Download Rank: 70,970
Citations:  1
Footnotes:  47

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo7 in 0.360 seconds