Competition Advocacy and the Patent System: Promoting Competitive Markets for Technology

34 Pages Posted: 11 May 2018

Date Written: April 29, 2018


Current efforts at patent reform, through vehicles such as legislation, regulation, and appellate caselaw, are often met with advocacy advancing competing concerns reflecting the interests of discrete and separate groups of market participants. These viewpoints may not necessarily align with the policy goal of promoting consumer welfare. Historically, competition advocacy by competition authorities has been one mechanism for advocating for reforms that advance consumer welfare. Competition authorities such as the Federal Trade Commission have a lengthy history of empirical research and policy advocacy regarding the patent system. This paper reviews that advocacy and examines the circumstances under which competition advocacy has been employed. It observes that advocacy has been directed to two markets in which the patent system impacts competition: patents influence competition in the market for goods that embody them and patents are also themselves articles traded in technology markets. Regarding the latter form of competition, advocacy has been used to address legal doctrines that give rise to transaction costs and market failures in the market for the trade and license of patent rights.

Keywords: Patent, Antitrust

JEL Classification: K21

Suggested Citation

Dubiansky, John, Competition Advocacy and the Patent System: Promoting Competitive Markets for Technology (April 29, 2018). Boston University Journal of Science and Technology Law, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

John Dubiansky (Contact Author)

Federal Trade Commission ( email )

600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics