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Creation without RestraintPromoting Liberty and Rivalry in Innovation$
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Christina Bohannan and Herbert Hovenkamp

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199738830

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199738830.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 September 2021

The Innovation Commons

The Innovation Commons

(p.325) 12 The Innovation Commons
Creation without Restraint

Christina Bohannan

Herbert Hovenkamp

Oxford University Press

This chapter on the “innovation commons” examines both the socially beneficial and the harmful explanations given for joint research, joint production, and standard setting. It argues that IP collaborations are often best understood as a way of compensating for IP systems that have divided rights into tiny pieces with uncertain boundaries. These rights cannot be gainfully used unless they are reassembled. Importantly, the arguments for both individual appropriation and commons management are economic. Exclusion by legal process has a cost, and in intellectual property regimes these costs are particularly high because the boundaries are so ambiguous. A firm invests in the creation and defense of individual boundaries only to the extent that the gains from exclusion are greater than those from cooperation. The line of equipoise between these two costs identifies the boundary between individual and community management.

Keywords:   joint research, joint production, standard setting, intellectual property collaborations

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