Infrastructure for Technological Change: Intellectual Property Rights
The patent system is, in certain respects, unique in the context of the law governing monopolies and restrictive trade practices. For various reasons which are explored in more depth below, the government chooses to give a monopoly right to those who produce (and/or own) certain intellectual property. Within this system of protection, the drafting and examination of patent specifications are of paramount importance. As a consequence, the law affords Patent Agents and, in effect, the Patent Office, a privileged position with a view to ensuring that this process is carried out expertly. This paper reports on research undertaken by the authors for the Office of Fair Trading, prior to its ruling (for a more detailed discussion see OFT, 1986; Bosworth and Wilson, 1988).
KeywordsIntellectual Property Fair Trading Private Practice Patent System Monopoly Power
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