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EU newsflash: patents are anticompetitive!

As discussed on Tech News Today #377, the European Commission has decided to open an investigation into the patent wars  between Apple and Samsung.1 According to EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia, “Apple and Samsung is only one case where IP rights can be used as an instrument to restrict competition.”2

Since patents are aimed at limiting “unbridled competition” of a free market,3 this should come as no surprise. As I have discussed elsewhere,4 the state is schizophrenic. It grants monopolies aimed at limiting competition (patents and copyright), and then penalizes companies for using (“abusing”) them, in contravention of state antitrust law–so that there is a “tension” between these state laws. Here’s an idea: get rid of both antitrust and patent law.


  1. For more on the smartphone patent wars, see Samsung, Apple continue patent dispute; Apple accuses Motorola, Samsung of monopolizing markets with patents–or, you’ve got to be kidding me; We Hope Apple Wins the Patent Wars; Android Patent Trouble Worsens: Motorola Considers Collecting IP Royalties; Apple vs. Microsoft: Which Benefits more from Intellectual Property?. []
  2. EU: Apple-Samsung row could be stifling competition; EU Injects Itself Into Apple-Samsung Patent War. []
  3. Intellectual Property Advocates Hate Competition; also IP Rights as Monopolistic Grants to Overcome the Public Goods Problem. []
  4. See State Antitrust (anti-monopoly) law versus state IP (pro-monopoly) law and The Schizo Feds: Patent Monopolies and the FTC; see also When Antitrust and Patents Collide (Rambus v. FTC); Antitrust vs. Trademark Law; Price Controls, Antitrust, and Patents; IP vs. AntitrustThe Schizophrenic StateIntel v. AMD: More patent and antitrust waste. []
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