Category Archives: antitrust

The Economics of the Patent System

The third panel at the patent, innovation and antitrust conference has begun, and here is the line-up:

Panel III:  The Patent System

“Favoring Dynamic over Static Competition: Implications for Antitrust Analysis and Policy”
David Teece, Thomas W. Tusher Chair in Global Business, Haas School of Business (U.C. Berkeley)

“Rewarding Innovation Efficiently: The Case for Exclusive Rights”
Luigi A. Franzoni, Professor of Institutional Economics, University of Bologna

“Does the Market Care About Changes In Patent Law?”
Scott A. Baker, Professor of Law, University of North Carolina School of Law

“Patent Notice and Cumulative Innovation”
Michael Meurer, Professor of Law, Boston University School of Law

Patents as Property Rights

We are on the second panel at the patents, innovation and antitrust conference.

Here is the line-up:

Panel II: Patents as Property Rights

“Removing Property from Intellectual Property and (Intended?) Pernicious Impacts on Innovation and Competition”
F. Scott Kieff, Professor of Law, Washington University in St. Louis School of Law

“Commercializing Property Rights in Inventions: Lessons for Modern Patent Theory From Classic Patent Doctrine”
Adam Mossoff, Associate Professor of Law, Michigan State University College of Law

“The Modularity of Patent Law”
Henry E. Smith, Fred A. Johnston Professor of Property and Environmental Law, Yale Law School

Patent Royaltes in Standards

I’m at the “Patents and the Commercialization of Innovation” conference, and Damien Geradin is speaking about how the various theories of royalty-stacking theories “fail to account for cross-licensing.”

There is a great deal of confusion between the minimum cumulative royalty rate, the maximum cumulative royalty rate and the average cumulative royalty rates that apply to the implementation of a standard.

This is the first of several panels devoted to considering the interplay of the patent system, innovation and antitrust.

Here’s the agenda for this morning:

Panel I:  Patents in Standards

“What’s Wrong With Royalties in High Technology Industries?”
Damien Geradin, Professor of Competition Law and Economics, Tilburg University Law & Economics Center

“Federalism, Substantive Preemption, and Limits on Antitrust”
Bruce H. Kobayashi, Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law

“Patent Holdup and Oligopsonistic Collusion in Standard Setting Organizations”
J. Greg Sidak, Founder, Criterion Economics, LLC

Antitrust, Innovation and Patent Reform

Today, I’ll be attending, and hopefully live-blogging, or live-Twittering, about “Patents and the Commercialization of Innovation,” which is the topic of the George Mason University/Microsoft Annual Conference on the Law and Economics of Innovation. This is the second annual version of this conference, and it is being held at the Hilton Arlington, 950 North Stafford Street, Arlington, VA.

The conference this year has an impressive agenda and list of speakers and presentations — including Richard Epstein, Bruce Kobayashi, Adam Mosoff, Greg Sidak and Henry Smith. The last conference was more directly focused on antitrust and software. This conference delves into the interface with patent reform, a subject that some of the biggest tech players in Washington, including Microsoft, have championed.

Here’s the conference boilerplate:

[This conference] will address the role of patents in the commercialization of innovation—an area of significant and enduring controversy. In particular, the conference will focus on three interrelated aspects of the debate over the law and economics of patents: The intersection of patents and antitrust, particularly in technology standards; the economics of the patent system and patent reform; and the proper understanding (and implications) of patents as property.

It will be interesting to see how Microsoft squares its generally hard-line (or maximalist) attitude towards copyright protection with its more liberal (or minimalist) approach to patent law! Check back here at – or on my Twitter page – for frequent updates!

Note: The George Mason University/Microsoft Annual Conference on the Law and Economics of Innovation is not affiliated with the Information Economy Project at George Mason University School of Law, a program with which I am affiliated, as the Assistant Director. See the “About” section for information about my activities.

FTC Report on Broadband Resurrects Freedom of Service Information

By Drew Clark

WASHINGTON, July 3, 2007 – The Federal Trade Commission intends to monitor the information that telecom and cable companies provide about high-speed Internet service in the service plans they offer to customers, according to a report issued last week by the agency.

The FTC asserts in the report, released on June 27, that since it has jurisdiction over matters involving consumer protection, it “will continue to enforce the consumer protection laws in the area of broadband access.”

The 165-page report has been greeted as inadequate by groups seeking network neutrality requirements, or rules barring broadband companies from offering expedited service to favored businesses.