On Friday one half of the IPKat spent a pleasant day in Oxford at the IPI/Oxford Intellectual Property Research Centre/University of Oxford Centre for Competition Law and Policy IP Forum. The subject was Intellectual Property and Competition Law: Contemporary Issues.
* Professor Steve Anderman (Essex) on the IP/competition law interface and how the two areas of law deal with the interface
* Professor Stefan Szymanski (Imperial) giving the economist’s view of IP and competition alw, and concluding that the public have a pretty bleak view of IP and so more erosion of IP law by competition law is likely.
* Christine Greenhalgh (Oxford) on her and Mark Rogers’ (also Oxford) empirical research on the interaction of competition, R & D and IP
* Dr John Temple Lang (Cleary Gottlieb Steen and Hamilton LLP, Trinity College Dublin and Oxford) on whether pre-standard royalty talks and royalty obligations breach Art.82 EC
* Alden F Abbott (FTC) on the US and particularly the FTC’s attitude to various arguably uncompetitive IP-related hot potatoes
* Josef Drexl (Max Planck) on the desirability of international competition law rules to match the international IP norms.
* Allen N Dixon on the competition law problems that practitioners are likely to face
The IPKat also noticed a tendency among the competition lawyers to view IP rights as the equivalent of tangible property rights. This is an oversimplification, particularly when one looks at the limited ways in which certain IP rights can be infringed. This might work to the advantage of IP lawyers since competition lawyers seem to recognise that property rights are necessary in our economy but it’s hard to see how the analysis can be accurate if it starts on an assumption about a highly debatable premise.