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Reflections on the GMU/Microsoft Conference

TOTM As you may know, this past Friday we (Geoff and Josh) organized the inaugural GMU/Microsoft Conference on the Law and Economics of Innovation. Overall, we . . .

As you may know, this past Friday we (Geoff and Josh) organized the inaugural GMU/Microsoft Conference on the Law and Economics of Innovation. Overall, we were extremely pleased with our first entry in this conference series, The Regulation of Innovation and Economic Growth. We had about 130 register for the conference, including many high level FTC and DOJ officials, academics, and industry representatives. In the end we had about 95 attendees. We also hosted a dinner for about 45 Washington VIPs (several FTC folks, a federal judge, prominent attorneys, representatives from USTR and Commerce, etc.) the evening before at Citronelle. A good time and good conversation were had by all.

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Antitrust & Consumer Protection

GMU/ Microsoft Innovation Forum Next Week!

TOTM As Geoff noted the other day, The First Annual GMU / Microsoft Annual Conference on the Law and Economics Innovation is now just one week . . .

As Geoff noted the other day, The First Annual GMU / Microsoft Annual Conference on the Law and Economics Innovation is now just one week away. It will be Friday, May 4th at GMU Law from 9 am to 4pm. This year’s topic is “The Regulation of Innovation and Economic Growth.” Conference papers and discussion will focus on the innovative process itself and the question of how regulation, particularly antitrust and intellectual property regimes, might foster or impede growth.

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Intellectual Property & Licensing

AMC Releases Tentative Recommendations

TOTM The tentative recommendations of the Antitrust Modernization Committee are out, and include Commissioner vote counts for various propositions. The recommendations largely take the form of . . .

The tentative recommendations of the Antitrust Modernization Committee are out, and include Commissioner vote counts for various propositions. The recommendations largely take the form of propositions that the AMC Commissioners joined, did not join, or were undetermined. Here are a few that caught my eye on an initial read-through (note that 2-5 apply to merger analysis).

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Intellectual Property & Licensing

Manne on Shareholder Democracy

TOTM Henry Manne is back with another article in the WSJ.  This time Manne goes toe-to-toe with the “corporate democrats.” Read the full piece here. 

Henry Manne is back with another article in the WSJ.  This time Manne goes toe-to-toe with the “corporate democrats.”

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Financial Regulation & Corporate Governance

Update on the Costs of Regulating Inequality

TOTM Larry Solum was kind enough to link to my post on economics and arguments about social justice, and raises the following concerns about my argument :

Larry Solum was kind enough to link to my post on economics and arguments about social justice, and raises the following concerns about my argument…

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Intellectual Property & Licensing

New paper: Missed Opportunities in Independent Ink

TOTM My paper for the 2006 Cato Supreme Court Review, Missed Opportunities in Independent Ink, is now available on SSRN. Justice Stevens’ opinion for the unanimous . . .

My paper for the 2006 Cato Supreme Court Review, Missed Opportunities in Independent Ink, is now available on SSRN. Justice Stevens’ opinion for the unanimous court in Independent Ink rid antitrust law of the misguided, ill conceived, and universally criticized presumption of antitrust market power in patent tying cases. Very few dispute the wisdom of the Court’s decision. So what is there left to say about it?

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Antitrust & Consumer Protection

The FTC Takes On the DOJ in Schering-Plough

TOTM There is a very interesting development in the ongoing saga of the FTC v. Schering-Plough Corporation, a very important antitrust case involving a payment from . . .

There is a very interesting development in the ongoing saga of the FTC v. Schering-Plough Corporation, a very important antitrust case involving a payment from a branded pharmaceutical manufacturer to a generic to delay entry (a “reverse payment”).

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Antitrust & Consumer Protection

MSM, Blogs, and George Mason’s “Other” Big News

TOTM It has been a fine month for George Mason University. The Final Four appearance has attracted a good deal of media attention and general buzz. . . .

It has been a fine month for George Mason University. The Final Four appearance has attracted a good deal of media attention and general buzz. This week, I received a record number of phone calls from friends about Mason (“No, I dont have any extra Final Four tickets.”). As great as this news is for the university community as a whole, GMU Law had an eventful March in its own right. For what it is worth, we moved up a few (4) spots in the US News Rankings to 37 (Brian Leiter thinks we are still underrated). But I want to write about what I found to be a very interesting series of events following reports that a GMU Law faculty member would be nominated to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Intellectual Property & Licensing

Elementary and Persistent Errors in the Economic Analysis of Intellectual Property

Scholarship Abstract The literature on the economic analysis of intellectual property rights evidences a broad scholarly consensus on a number of central and important issues. First, . . .

Abstract

The literature on the economic analysis of intellectual property rights evidences a broad scholarly consensus on a number of central and important issues. First, intellectual property rights enable economic actors to capture some of the benefits of the investment they make in establishing a good reputation, creating expressive works, and inventing new and improved technology. Absent intellectual property rights, copiers are free to take for themselves a significant part of the economic benefit generated by these types of investment and to undermine the incentive to make these in- vestments in the first place. Second, the investment activities induced by intellectual property rights-developing a positive reputation with consumers, creating expressive works that consumers want to read, view, or hear, and developing improved technology- are efficient investments up to the point that consumers are willing to pay for their fruits. Third, a decentralized system of incentives such as that created by a system of intellectual property rights will over time produce results better preferred by consumers than will any kind of centrally directed subsidy system. Fourth, intellectual property rights systems have costs, costs involved in identifying, defining and enforcing the subject matter of the rights. Fifth, the intellectual property regimes of the United States, in particular, and of the developed economies are, as a general matter, economically sensible, no matter what particular details may concern a particular author. Even Justice Stephen Breyer, that once youthful Harvard skeptic, has said that the issue is not whether to have intellectual property rights, but what form they should take.

Scholars made considerable progress over the last century understanding the economics of intellectual property rights. Yet, much remains to be done. There is ample room for additional progress in the literature. Indeed, it seems likely that this progress will result in part from the work of the scholars who assembled for this conference.

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Intellectual Property & Licensing