Public Policy and Global Technological Integration: An Introduction
PUBLIC POLICY AND GLOBAL TECHNOLOGICAL INTEGRATION, pp. 3-13, F. M. Abbott & D. Gerber, eds., Kluwer Law International, 1997
12 Pages Posted: 21 Jan 2012
Date Written: December 1, 1996
Over the past five years, the relationship between liberal international trade rules and competition law has become the subject of increasing attention from governments, the business community, and scholars. The genesis of this attention is a perception that certain major industrialized markets are protected against import penetration by the failure of national governments to police against competitive market restraints. The reduction or elimination of formal trade barriers, it is argued, does not achieve the desired result of stimulating international competition, with corollary comparative advantage effects, if markets are allocated, formally or informally, among domestic producers. In this context, competition law is viewed largely as an exporter's market access tool.
Significantly less attention has been paid to the extent to which industrial and service industry concentration maybe increasing at the international level, and the role that competition law might play in addressing a pattern of concentration. Without doubt, global markets are becoming increasingly integrated through international worksharing arrangements, and this integration is taking place within largescale multinational corporate structures.
Still less attention has been paid to the role of industrial or intellectual property in industrial integration and concentration.
The key points are these: First, at the heart of the trend toward global technological integration is the global system for the protection of IPRs. Second, IPRs are government-granted rights, and governments are acting in the public interest. Third, the effect globalizing IPRs has on the public has never been studied in anything close to a comprehensive way, nor have alternatives to the present international IPRs protection system been seriously considered. Fourth, there is a clear intersection between IPRs protection and competition law. Competition law is designed to protect the public interest and might be used to police the international IPRs protection system. This would be in accordance with classical thinking on maintaining the integrity of markets.
It would be unfortunate, however, if consideration of the effect of the international IPRs system on the public were limited to the potential utility of competition law. More innovative approaches might be worthwhile to consider.
Keywords: intellectual property, competition law, trade, development, industrial concentration, WTO
JEL Classification: D43, F12, K21, K33, L13, L40, O34, O38
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation