An interesting seminar last Friday at TILEC with two speakers on the topic of Intellectual Property and Competition Law (Dean Williamson and Ioannis Lianos). Dean's focus (pdf) was on uncertain boundaries of IPRs as source of problems, while Ioannis questioned (pdf again) altogether the parallel between Intellectual Property and Property.
We got a lot of food for thought and the discussion continued also after the seminar, a sign that the debate is "hot" despite hundreds of people (quoting Dean) have been discussing the subject already.
An unexpected twist: a remark to Ioannis' presentation sparked a spin-off discussion on the relationship between competition and sector specific regulation. Ioannis argued in favour of a comprehensive regulatory scheme for IPRs that includes also competition/access concerns. In turn, that would imply a more limited room for ex-post intervention by competition authorities, since this could end up jeopardising the objectives of regulation. (More in the paper)
This is an interesting view, especially when put in the broader competition/regulation debate, beyond IPRs, for example for the revision of electronic communication regulation or the net neutrality debate.
Discussion to be continued.
A final note: TILEC anniversary conference coming up on 14 April!