Research Handbook on International Competition Law
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Research Handbook on International Competition Law

Edited by Ariel Ezrachi

This comprehensive Handbook explores the dynamics of international cooperation and national enforcement. It identifies initiatives that led to the current state of collaboration and also highlights current and future challenges. The Handbook features 22 contributions on topical subjects including: competition in developed and developing economies, enforcement trends, advocacy and regional and multinational cooperation. In addition, selected areas of law are explored from a comparative perspective. These include intellectual property and competition law, the pharmaceutical industry, merger control worldwide and the application of competition law to agreements and dominant market position.
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Chapter 18: Innovation, IPRs and EU competition law: cross currents in the EU/US debate

Steven Anderman


The studies of the process of innovation in the legal and economic literature on both sides of the Atlantic all point to the complexity of the innovation process. Innovation, as distinct from entrepreneurial activity generally, results in a flow of new products and processes for making and delivering new products and services. It has been described as a multi-stage process from invention and discovery, to placing new products and processes on markets and creating new markets, to further diffusion of invention and discovery. The ‘causes’ of innovation identified in the economic research have included factors such as education, the entrepreneurial culture in large and small firms, private and government investment in R & D, science policy, taxation and government subsidies. Among these factors two spheres of legal regulation have been given particular prominence: intellectual property rights (‘IPRs’) and competition law. Patents and industrial copyright play an important role in encouraging the flow of invention of new products. The award of an exclusive right to make, use and sell to a novel invention, whether process or product, acts as an incentive to disclose information about the invention to those engaged in parallel experimentation during the period of exclusive use (rather than keeping it a ‘trade secret’). Indeed, this ‘disclosure effect’ can be as important to innovation as the incentive effect of the reward of exclusivity for inventive activity to the ‘pioneer’ inventor and its sponsors. Furthermore, the licensing process not only ensures diffusion of the patent rights but also disclosure of industrial information.

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