Innovators, Firms, and Markets: The Organizational Logic of Intellectual Property

ISBN : 9780190908591

Jonathan M. Barnett
256 ページ
163 x 242 mm

Conventional wisdom holds that robust enforcement of intellectual property (IP) right suppress competition and innovation by shielding incumbents against the entry threats posed by smaller innovators. That assumption has driven mostly successful efforts to weaken US patent protections for over a decade. This book challenges that assumption. In Innovators, Firms, and Markets, Jonathan M. Barnett confronts the reigning policy consensus by analyzing the relationship between IP rights, firm organization, and market structure. Integrating tools and concepts from IP and antitrust law, institutional economics, and political science, real-world understandings of technology markets, and empirical insights from the economic history of the US patent system, Barnett provides a novel framework for IP policy analysis. His cohesive framework explains how robust enforcement of IP rights enables entrepreneurial firms, which are rich in ideas but poor in capital, to secure outside investment and form the cooperative relationships needed to transform a breakthrough innovation into a marketable product. The history of the US patent system and firms' lobbying tendencies show that weakening patent protections removes a critical tool for entrants to challenge incumbents that enjoy difficult-to-match commercialization and financing capacities. Counterintuitively, the book demonstrates that weak IP rights are often the best entry barrier the state can provide to protect entrenched incumbents against disruptive innovators. By challenging common assumptions and offering a powerful integrated framework for understanding how innovation happens and the law's role in that process, Barnett's Innovators, Firms, and Markets provides important insights into how IP law shapes our economy.


List of Figures and Tables
Plan of Organization
Part One. Theory: Rethinking Intellectual Property
Chapter 1 Dynamic Analysis of Intellectual Property
Chapter 2 Organizational Effects of Intellectual Property (Micro-Level)
Chapter 3 Organizational Effects of Intellectual Property (Macro-Level)
Part Two. History: Intellectual Property and Organizational Forms
Chapter 4 Constructing an Objective History of the U.S. Patent System
Chapter 5 An Organizational History of the U.S. Patent System
Chapter 6 Exploding the Supply Chain: Strong Patents and Vertical Disintegration
Part Three. Politics: The Market Rents of Weak Intellectual Property Rights
Chapter 7 Why Incumbents (Usually) Prefer Weak Intellectual Property Rights
Chapter 8 Organizational Perspectives on Intellectual Property Reform
Legal Index


Jonathan M. Barnett is the Torrey H. Webb Professor of Law and Director of the Media, Entertainment and Technology Law Program at the Gould School of Law, University of Southern California. He has published widely in scholarly journals, including the Harvard Law Review, Journal of Institutional Economics, Journal of Legal Studies, Review of Law and Economics, Yale Law Journal and others. He also contributes regularly to news and policy publications on intellectual property and antitrust issues. Prior to academia, Professor Barnett practiced corporate law at a leading international law firm.