Abstract

The question addressed by the paper is whether standard procedures and widely accepted insights of competition policy remain valid when one deals with potentially anti‐competitive conduct in innovative industries. The question of appropriateness arises because competition in these industries displays features that are radically different from those encountered in traditional sectors of the economy. Competition is for the market rather than in the market, dynamic aspects of competition matter more than allocative aspects, intellectual property rights (IPR) reinforce network effects present in knowledge‐based industries. The paper examines why these differences matter with respect to market delineation, assessment of intensity of competition, and predatory conduct. It also raises the question as to what extent competition law limits the innovators' rights not to license their inventions to others, especially when they correspond to essential facilities. It explores the problem created by excessive protection as well as the hold‐up problem that arises in a context of sequential innovations. It examines the antitrust position in regard to the treatment of collaborative arrangements among holders of IPRs, such as cross‐licences, patent‐pools, and joint‐standard settings. Finally, it presents a discussion on a possible role of competition law in shaping intellectual property laws in order to benefit from the complementarity between intellectual protection and antitrust rules.

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