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Intellectual property is a vital part of the global economy, accounting for about half of the GDP in countries like the United States. Innovation, competition, economic growth and jobs can all be helped or hurt by different approaches to this key asset class, where seemingly slight changes in the rules of the game can have remarkable impact. This book brings together diverse perspectives from the fields of law, economics, business and political science to explore the ways varying approaches to intellectual property can positively and negatively impact our economy and society. Employing approaches that are both theoretically rigorous and grounded in the real world, Perspectives on Commercializing Innovation is well suited for practising lawyers, managers, lawmakers and analysts, as well as academics conducting research or teaching in a range of courses in law schools, business schools and economics departments, at either the undergraduate or graduate level.
Intellectual property (IP) is a vital and growing part of the global economy, accounting for about half of the gross domestic product in countries such as the United States. Innovation, competition, economic growth, and jobs, all can be helped or hurt by different approaches to IP. But as is so often the case, the devil is in the details, and seemingly slight changes in the particular rules of the game can have remarkable impact. This book brings together diverse perspectives from the fields of law, economics, business, and political science to explore the ways varying approaches to this driving element of our economy and society can positively and negatively impact life at home and abroad.
A central debate within the field of IP relates to its very purpose. Some see IP rights as tools for granting private monopolies or other privileges directly to creative or inventive individuals. Some of those focusing on such a direct link begrudge IP as a form of harmful patronage to a select few politically effective beneficiaries, while others focusing on this direct link offer IP as helpful rewards for inventive or creative efforts. Others see IP as a more indirect set of tools for getting new inventions or creations put to use, and they embrace the right to exclude as a coordination device for getting diverse business parties to strike the necessary deals with each other so as to help achieve appropriate distribution and commercialization of intellectual as-sets. All seem to agree that IP rights work best when they help increase innovation and competition while getting ideas put to use as broadly and rapidly as possible. Not all agree on what this means for how the rules of the game should be structured or whether particular forms of creative and inventive works should be protected by legal IP systems at all. This book presents several perspectives on the many economic, legal, and scientific issues surrounding the commercialization of IP, with a focus on patents.
A recent explosion in the intellectual property (IP) literature focuses on a set of problems relating to an arrangement of property rights called an “anticommons.” The basic distinguishing feature of the IP anticommons is the existence of such a large number of IP rights covering a single good or service that the provision of that good or service is feared to be unduly taxed and retarded, if not outright prevented.
An often-discussed example of the anticommons problem is DNA-on-a-chip technology involving microarrays of thousands, or even tens of thousands, of individual pieces of DNA. Each piece of DNA may be covered by a different patent; and many of the patents may have different owners. It is feared that entering a business based on such a chip would require the business owner to identify, find, and then successfully transact with a staggering number of individual IP owners. Such transaction costs, combined with the risk that any one of the IP owners could hold out and compromise the entire operation, raise a number of problems for business and for the public at large. Because access to such a plethora of IP rights is required, those wanting to enter a line of business using DNA-on-a-chip technology fear that they cannot, and those seeking access to the products that such businesses would have produced are left wanting. The impact may be life threatening – preventing promising diagnoses and treatments targeted to patients having a number of specific genetic profiles.
The events that began with the collapse of Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, and Adelphia and continued into the financial crisis of 2008 teach us an important lesson: corporate governance matters. Although it is widely acknowledged that good corporate governance is a linchpin of good corporate performance, how can one improve corporate governance and its impact on corporate and overall economic performance. This book offers a diverse and forward-looking set of approaches from experts, covering the major areas of corporate governance reform and analyzing the full range of issues and concerns. Written to be both theoretically rigorous and grounded in the real world, the book is well suited for practicing lawyers, managers, lawmakers, and analysts, as well as academics conducting research or teaching a wide range of courses in law schools, business schools, and economics departments.