The Case Against Intellectual Property

16 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2002  

Michele Boldrin

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Department of Economics; Universidad Carlos III de Madrid - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

David K. Levine

Washington University in St. Louis - Department of Economics; European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS)

Date Written: March 2002

Abstract

According to a common argument, the presence of strong intellectual property rights spurs innovation, which then leads to fiercer competition, higher economic growth and increasing benefits for the average consumers. We argue that, in the case of intellectual property rights, this has lead to misconceptions and abuses. Current legislation on intellectual property confuses the protection of property rights on objects in which ideas are embodied with the attribution of monopoly power on the idea itself and, furthermore, with restrictions on the usage of such goods on the part of the buyers. This implies that both patent and copyright laws should be dramatically altered. To back up our claim we provide theoretical arguments, even for the most extreme case in which goods are produced at a positive fixed cost and zero marginal cost.

Keywords: Intellectual property, monopoly power, patents and copyrights

JEL Classification: L10, L40, O31

Suggested Citation

Boldrin, Michele and Levine, David K., The Case Against Intellectual Property (March 2002). CEPR Discussion Paper No. 3273. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=307859

Michele Boldrin (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Department of Economics ( email )

271 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States
612-624-4551 (Phone)
612-624-0209 (Fax)

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid - Department of Economics

Calle Madrid 126
Getafe, 28903
Spain

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom

David K. Levine

Washington University in St. Louis - Department of Economics ( email )

One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.dklevine.com

European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS) ( email )

Villa La Fonte, via delle Fontanelle 18
50016 San Domenico di Fiesole
Florence, Florence 50014
Italy

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