Edited by Josef Drexl
Chapter 12: New Technologies and Mergers
Josef Bejcek ˇ 1 General remarks 1.1 Intellectual property rights and innovations ‘Some of us often suppose that the best things in life are free. Most of us get along by developing the ideas of others. That is how the world progresses.’1 Too strong protection of individual achievements may slow down the general advance. On the other hand, too weak protection can prevent anybody from inventing anything. From the point of view of a consumer, intellectual property rights (IPRs) are a kind of ‘trade-off’ between long-term gains and shortterm gains. Consumers would be better off in the short term if the results of someone else’s creative efforts could be freely copied, for this would lower the price of products involving IPRs. But from a long-term perspective, the consumers would become losers because they would be giving up the incentives that IPRs afford the creators.2 The main concern of this dilemma is illustrated by some lines from J.M. Clark’s book Competition as a Dynamic Process from the year 1961 written in verse. He stated: We all agree that innovation Will benefit both world and nation The question we must answer later Is, will it help the innovator? The analysis of the reality is unfortunately not too poetic. It is, of course, very cheap to criticize someone else’s attempt to write in verse. Nevertheless, although it is sometimes argued that the pressure to rhyme makes the poet express his best ideas, it is obviously not the case in Clark’s poetic attempt, for the...
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