A Handbook of Contemporary Research
Edited by Christophe Geiger
Chapter 7: Criminal enforcement of intellectual property law: an economic approach
In the search for rationales and guidance for the use of criminal law in an intellectual property (IP) law context the economic approach to law constitutes a ‘beacon of hope’ in a highly contentious law and policy area. The main purpose of this article is to discuss whether this expectation is warranted through an analysis of the answers that the economic approach to law provides and an analysis of the questions that the economic approach has failed to answer. The economic analysis of law in the framework of law and economics can now broadly be defined as ‘the application of economic theory and econometric methods to examine the formation, structure, processes and impact of law and legal institutions’. As such, the economic analysis of the law has spread into almost any area of law – such as IP law and its enforcement. The area of criminal enforcement of IP law, however, is still a closed book and has carelessly been neglected by economists. By contrast, economic theories of crime and punishment have flourished ever since Becker developed his seminal economic model of crime and punishment in 1968. Such theories have aimed at providing answers to two fundamental questions: First, what acts should be punished? Second, to what extent should such acts be punished? However, answers to these questions have primarily related to traditional crime and punishment issues – such as capital punishment – rather than counterfeiting and piracy scenarios in a digital era thereby leading to a scarcity of economic analyses in the IP law realm.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.