Vol 1: Theory Vol 2: Analytical Methods
Edited by Ben Depoorter, Peter Menell and David Schwartz
Chapter 14: Tailoring intellectual property rights to reduce uniformity cost
By design, copyright and patent law provide largely one-size-fits-all exclusive rights to inventors and authors. This policy creates the problem of uniformity cost, defined as the social cost attributable to the misalignment between the general level of exclusion provided by uniform rights and the specific level of exclusion that would be optimal with respect to any given author or inventor to both create and to commercialize their work. This chapter provides an explanation for the uniformity policy and the existing means of reducing uniformity cost through real options, flexible standards, and private ordering. It then discusses the conditions that would make tailoring intellectual property rights superior to uniform rights. It identifies the categories of economic evidence that would support specific tailoring interventions, which can be done through legislation, judicial interpretation, or administrative rules depending upon context.
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