Property Rights in Emerging Platform Technologies

34 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2000

See all articles by Douglas Lichtman

Douglas Lichtman

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 1999


This article considers an externality that affects a broad range of markets, specifically markets where one set of firms sells some platform technology like a computer, video game console, or operating system, while another possibly overlapping set of firms sells peripherals compatible with that platform, for example computer software or video game cartridges. The externality causes certain peripheral sellers to charge prices that are unprofitably high. That is, these firms could earn greater profits if only they could coordinate to charge lower prices. In many markets, such coordination is possible; firms can contract, for example, or integrate. In markets based on relatively new platform technologies, however, coordination will typically be difficult. The article explains why, and argues that intellectual property law can and should facilitate price coordination in these "emerging technology" settings.

JEL Classification: K11, L10

Suggested Citation

Lichtman, Douglas Gary, Property Rights in Emerging Platform Technologies (December 1999). University of Chicago Law School, John M. Olin Law & Economics Working Paper No. 97. Available at SSRN: or

Douglas Gary Lichtman (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law ( email )

385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
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