Letter from the Editor – Fall 2013

The CPI Autumn 2013 issue features contributions from some of the participants to two roundtables on the intersection between intellectual property and antitrust that we organized in London (in June 2013) and Washington DC (in November 2013) with the Jevons Institute for Competition Law and Economics of University College London. The theme remains controversial and, during the two roundtables, participants exchanged strong and diverging views under the Chatham House rule. This divergence of views, a veritable intellectual divide, is well reflected in the articles published in this issue, although perhaps not the intensity of the heat.

Let’s start with the common ground: both antitrust and intellectual property (IP) law “are concerned with promoting economic welfare.” Both systems of law aim at providing incentives for innovation. But they do so from fundamentally different vantage points. IP law has evolved from a policy judgment in that the way to promote innovation is, in some cases, to provide inventors with property rights that could allow them to capture a return from their efforts and prevent others from encroaching on their creations—for some time and with some limitations. Antitrust law is concerned with establishing rules for the game of competition that prevent businesses from rigging the outcome in ways the exclude competition and harm consumers. Neither approach is necessarily inconsistent with the other but, then again, neither approach ensures that either is …

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