Antitrust, Intellectual Property and High Tech – your one-stop reference for the most important questions
Read headlines around the world and it seems as if most of the important high tech companies are actively engaged in antitrust investigations or litigation. These cases are fundamental to the very business models across software, hardware and pharmaceutical industries. Our edited book The Cambridge Handbook of Antitrust, Intellectual Property and High Tech brings together a group of international experts in law and economics to better understand some of the complexities in this interface. We thought it was important to have diverse voices. This means that we have significant treatment of antitrust issues (called competition law outside of the United States) across the globe.
In some settings, readers will see that the same issues are played out differently in case law across different legal regimes. This set of differential outcomes creates a situation that increases the costs of business planning. In some settings, the more stringent antitrust system in terms of hostility to business conduct may produce the global standard. The outcome of antitrust cases should matter to a broader set of readers. If there is a more rigid application of antitrust rules, this rigidity threatens to hurt consumers and innovation. Likewise, if antitrust is too lenient, then abusive conduct may chill innovation and hurt consumers via unlawful conduct. Finding the right balance that balances competition and innovation may be difficult. Chapters of the Handbook provide an overview of each theme. It then synthesizes the extant literature to provide recommendations as to policy.
Examining some of these hot topics includes Nicolas Petit’s chapter on “The antitrust and intellectual property intersection in European Union law.” European antitrust has been active in terms of areas such as the antitrust-patent interface such as for FRAND licensing and pharmaceuticals. We have similar coverage in China with Thomas Cheng’s chapter on “The IP-antitrust interface in China: an uncharted territory.” In the United States the policy salience of similar issues also receive coverage in the book, both from the standpoint of law and economics. For example, Joshua Gans introduces the “Economics of innovation” while Anne Layne-Farrar discusses “The economics of FRAND.” In terms of legal treatment, I have a chapter that asks “Does antitrust have a role to play in regulating big data?” There are legal treatments of “Drug patent settlements” by Michael Carrier and “Patent pools and related technology sharing” by Erik Hovenkamp and Herbert Hovenkamp. These are but a sampling of chapters.
The book should be of interest to scholars of antitrust, innovation, intellectual property across fields such as law, economics and management.