New Balance Between IP and Antitrust, A

Intellectual Property and Competition Policy and Antitrust

Article Snapshot


Mark Lemley


Stanford Law School Working Paper No. 340, 2007


This paper considers how intellectual property laws relate to competition policy.

Policy Relevance

Intellectual property rights and antitrust laws are consistent in some ways. But policymakers should be more willing to intervene to support competition through antitrust when intellectual property rights are strong.

Main Points

  • Intellectual property (IP) supports innovative new products and disruptive new competition, and so is consistent with antitrust.


  • IP can protect monopoly power, and in this respect is not consistent with antitrust; competition can also spur innovation.


  • Private property is not efficient by itself, but only in the context of a robust and competitive market.


  • When IP laws are strong, antitrust laws should also be strong, and vice versa.

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