Intellectual Property and Competition Law

Posted by Social Science Research Network

Intellectual Property and Competition Law

By C. Scott Hemphill (New York University)

Abstract:      This chapter, prepared for the Oxford Handbook of Intellectual Property Law, surveys the intersection of competition law — or antitrust law, as it is known in the United States — with intellectual property (IP). It examines whether and how IP rights alter the substantive scope of antitrust law, either by operation of statute or as a matter of economic policy. It discusses a wide variety of antitrust claims, alleging collusion, exclusion, or both, that have been raised against IP rights holders. The examples are drawn mainly from the United States, although European developments are also included where relevant. The analysis supports the conclusion that, beyond a rights holder’s core ability to assert a valid, infringed right against a rival, IP restricts antitrust law less than one might expect. Moreover, the restrictions that do exist are often subtle.

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