Price Discrimination & Intellectual Property

35 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2018 Last revised: 26 Oct 2018

See all articles by Ben Depoorter

Ben Depoorter

University of California Hastings College of Law; Ugent - CASLE; Stanford Law School Center for Internet & Society

Michael J. Meurer

Boston University - School of Law

Date Written: October 15, 2018

Abstract

This chapter reviews the law and economics literature on intellectual property law and price discrimination. We introduce legal scholars to the wide range of techniques used by intellectual property owners to practice price discrimination; in many cases the link between commercial practice and price discrimination may not be apparent to non-economists. We introduce economists to the many facets of intellectual property law that influence the profitability and practice of price discrimination. The law in this area has complex effects on customer sorting and arbitrage. Intellectual property law offers fertile ground for analysis of policies that facilitate or discourage price discrimination. We conjecture that new technologies are expanding the range of techniques used for price discrimination while inducing new wrinkles in intellectual property law regimes. We anticipate growing commentary on copyright and trademark liability of e-commerce platforms and how that connects to arbitrage and price discrimination. Further, we expect to see increasing discussion of the connection between intellectual property, privacy, and antitrust laws and the incentives to build and use databases and algorithms in support of price discrimination.

Keywords: Patents, copyright, intellectual property, price discrimination, antitrust, arbitrage, metering, sorting

JEL Classification: K20, K24, L11

Suggested Citation

Depoorter, Ben and Meurer, Michael J., Price Discrimination & Intellectual Property (October 15, 2018). UC Hastings Research Paper No. 303; Boston Univ. School of Law, Law and Economics Research Paper No. 18-26. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3271247

Ben Depoorter (Contact Author)

University of California Hastings College of Law ( email )

200 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States

Ugent - CASLE ( email )

Universiteitstraat 4
Belgium

Stanford Law School Center for Internet & Society ( email )

559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States

Michael J. Meurer

Boston University - School of Law ( email )

765 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States
617-353-6292 (Phone)
617-353-3077 (Fax)

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
123
rank
220,865
Abstract Views
574
PlumX Metrics