An Introduction to the Law and Economics of Intellectual Property

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American Economic Association

An Introduction to the Law and Economics of Intellectual Property Author(s): Stanley M. Besen and Leo J. Raskind Reviewed work(s): Source: The Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 5, No. 1 (Winter, 1991), pp. 3-27 Published by: American Economic Association Stable URL: . Accessed: 24/11/2011 08:39
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It is intended both to provide thumbnail descriptions of the various intellectual property regimes to economists working in this area and to indicate where additional economic research might be useful. The other papers in this symposium provide important examples of ongoing research on the economics of intellectual property. Suzanne Scotchmer analyzes the complex effects of patent protection when innovation is cumulative. Rather than analyzing situations in which several firms vie to develop the same innovation-the approach of the "patent race" literature-her analysis examines circumstances in which only one firm can develop an initial innovation but others can also build upon it. She focuses on how the incentive to develop both the initial and subsequent inventions may be affected by the scope of patent protection. Janusz Ordover considers ways of adjusting the patent system that may help to both provide returns to the inventor, and encourage the diffusion of the innovation in the economy. His paper is part of a line of work that explores the place of the intellectual property system among the large number of institutions that affect the amount and nature of research and development that takes place. In the final paper, David
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