Edited By Inge Govaere and Hanns Ullrich
PART II. REINFORCING MARKET POWER THROUGH INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
PART II REINFORCING MARKET POWER THROUGH INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY 171 CHAPTER 7 The Strategic Use of Patent Enforcement and Acquisition Methods and Competition Law Steven ANDERMAN Professor of Law, Universities of Essex and Stockholm Introduction In recent decades there has been a noticeable increase in the strategic use of patent enforcement and acquisition methods as part of wider commercial practice. This increase has been fuelled partly by a greater understanding by corporations of the value of their corporate intangible assets and the need to adopt more vigorous enforcement policies once the step is taken of giving a more realistic book value to their intangible assets. Moreover, as intangible assets have become more and more significant in overall corporate asset values, more imaginative strategic uses of patent enforcement and acquisition methods have emerged. The strategic use of patenting takes many forms and the forms vary from sector to sector. In many sectors, the strategic emphasis is on a highly aggressive enforcement of existing patents. In some sectors, there is a particular emphasis on aggressive acquisition, such as in the micro- processor sector, where firms emphasise the development of a portfolio of patents. In other sectors, such as pharmaceuticals, strategic patenting involves concerns with competition from generics and concentrates on methods of prolonging individual patent protections. These are not necessarily alternative strategies; aggressive enforcement methods can be combined with aggressive acquisition methods. Many categories of strategic patenting tend to occur in a form that appears to be legitimate profit taking and a lawful...
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