Table of Contents

Comparative Law and Economics

Comparative Law and Economics

Research Handbooks in Comparative Law series

Edited by Theodore Eisenberg and Giovanni B. Ramello

Contemporary law and economics has greatly expanded its scope of inquiry as well as its sphere of influence. The extension to many idiosyncratic topics and issues that sometime lie outside the traditional domain of the discipline have fostered the emergence of a new consciousness better grasped by a comparative approach. The original contributions to this Research Handbook provide a glimpse of the new perspectives that enrich the law and economics methodology.

Chapter 11: A comparative law and economics analysis of damages for patent infringement

Thomas F. Cotter

Subjects: economics and finance, law and economics, law - academic, comparative law, law and economics


To date, relatively little of the literature within comparative law and economics has addressed the law of intellectual property—that is, the law of patents, copyrights, trademarks, and other rights in intangible creations. Some of my own recent work has begun to occupy this space, with publication of a book chapter and, subsequently, an entire book devoted to the comparative law and economics of remedies for patent infringement. This chapter will highlight one particular topic to which these projects have devoted considerable attention, namely the comparative law and economics of damages—monetary compensation—for patent infringement. As discussed below, patent systems throughout the world have adopted rules and standards to govern the calculation of patent damages that are, at an abstract level, quite similar. At a more concrete level, however, these rules and standards sometimes operate quite differently, both in theory and in practice; moreover, virtually every major system departs in some material way from the standards one might expect to find in a system grounded solely on abstract economic principles. At its best, a comparative law and economics approach to patent damages can help to generate hypotheses to explain these differences, to evaluate the merits of these hypotheses (and of the differing rules and standards themselves), and to suggest areas that merit further investigation.

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