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CIS/SLATA Speaker Series: Stefan Bechtold JSM '02


March 12, 2007 12:30pm - 1:30pm


In many areas of the economy, firms offer durable goods at low prices, while charging high prices for compatible spare parts, accessories, as well as maintenance and repair services. A classic example is the cheap razor and the expensive blades. Such business strategies only make sense if the firm can restrict or eliminate competition on the secondary market.

In addition to well-known strategies such as refusals to deal, tying and exclusive dealing, rebate programs and the introduction of technical incompatibilities, firms increasingly use intellectual property rights in order to control secondary markets. While, in 1850, the debate about such strategies focused on planing machines, today we are talking about challenge-response protocols and radio communications within computer printers and about trait-specific genetic use restriction technologies (T-GURTs) in biotech.

Using a (behavioral) law and economics analysis, the talk assesses the impacts of controlling secondary markets. Analyzing U.S., European and German law, the talk evaluates the extent to which antitrust, design protection, patent, copyright, trademark and unfair competition law succeed in transforming economic insights into an operable legal framework. Thereby, the talk analyzes possibilities of and limitations to incorporating economic theories into antitrust and intellectual property law.