Posted by Social Science Research Network
By Daniel L. Rubinfeld (University of California)
Abstract: Utilizing a privateering competitive strategy, firms sponsor the assertion of IP claims by third parties (patent assertion entities and others), with the ultimate objective the raising of rival competitors’ costs. This paper tells the privateering story with respect to both desktop and mobile operating systems competition. It begins with Microsoft’s funding of litigation against Linux – a threat to Microsoft’s desktop operating system monopoly and continues to a analysis of recent competition in the smartphone space. The paper raises potential competitive concerns and related antitrust and IP enforcement issues.