Archive | Digging

Patent races: pros and cons

By 5 November 2014 80

We have already developed on this blog the relationship between competition and innovation (see here and here). This relationship goes both ways. On the one hand, competition affects innovation insofar as the firms’ incentives to innovate depend (in a complex way) on the market structure (i.e., the number of firms on the market, the way they compete, the type […]

A primer on cumulative innovations

By 21 October 2014 0

(This post aims at digging the concept of cumulative innovation. It is based on Section 19.3 of Belleflamme and Peitz, 2010). Innovations are rarely produced in complete isolation. In many complex industries (such as biotechnologies, information technologies, telecommunications, electronics and software), innovations are typically the result of a cumulative process. For the sake of the […]

equity-based crowdfunding

Crowdfunding: giving rewards or sharing profits?

By 20 May 2014 0

As already explained on this blog, crowdfunding has recently emerged as a novel way of financing new ventures. The basic idea behind crowdfunding is simple: instead of raising funds from a small group of sophisticated investors, entrepreneurs try to obtain them through the Internet from a large audience (the so-called “crowd”), where each individual provides a […]

No need to ask for authorization before hyperlinking, but…what did the EU Court of Justice mean in Svensson?

By 21 March 2014 34

In a previous post (see here), I had asked to anticipate the response of the Court of Justice of the EU  to several questions raised in the Svensson case (C-466/12). The core question was whether establishing an hyperlink to a copyrighted work could constitute a “communication to the public” (under Article 3 of the 2001/29 […]


Is R&D cooperation a steppingstone to collusion?

By 3 November 2013 51

In 2010, the European Commission has revised its rules for the assessment of co-operation agreements between competitors. Some of these so-called “horizontal agreements” have the potential to reduce competition (and thus harm consumers); it is certainly so when the agreements involve price fixing or limiting production; such agreements are clearly prohibited. On the other hand, […]

La carte et le territoire: une copie n’est jamais l’original

By 27 October 2013 16

L’ancien président de la Réserve fédérale américaine, Alain Greenspan, vient de publier chez Penguin: The Map and the Territory, en français: La carte et le territoire. Tiens, voilà qui rappelle Michel Houellebecq et son prix Goncourt 2010 pour… La carte et le territoire. Sauf que La carte et le territoire est déjà le titre d’un […]

tragedy of commons

Do you believe in sharing or in owning? Do you rely on commons or on private property?

By 13 October 2013 15

An article in the Financial Times (Tim Harford, ‘Do you believe in sharing?’, F.T., August 31/Sept. 1 2013) reminds us of an eternal debate: shall we believe in the ability of humans to adequately share and reasonably use the resources offered by our planet? Or do we have to define property rights so that over-consumption […]

Les bases de brevets comme ressource stratégique : vers un système à deux vitesses ?

By 10 May 2012 16

L’obligation de publier chaque demande de brevet dans un délai de 18 mois est un pilier fondamental du système des brevets. Contrairement aux marques ou au droit d’auteur, ceux-ci protègent en effet des informations techniques qui ne sont pas directement observables. Pour être opposables aux tiers, ces droits intellectuels doivent donc être clairement définis au […]

Network effects

By 2 February 2012 0

Network effects are ubiquitous in the digital economy. They refer to the idea that, for many reasons, users prefer to be connected to a bigger network than to a smaller one. To be more precise, here is a textbook explanation of network effects (see Chapter 20 in Belleflamme and Peitz, 2010): A product is said […]

What are the global intellectual property issues today?

By 3 February 2011 9

Every two years the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) publishes its blockbuster: the roadmap on IPR issues. The 2012 issue (the 11th edition) is now available at (ICC, Current and emerging intellectual property issues for business. A roadmap for business and policy makers, ICC, 2012) This roadmap offers a list of issues that are […]