Intellectual Property and Compettition Law: Divergence, Convergence, and Independence
Gitanjali Shankar & Nitika Gupta*
Volume 4 Issue 1 (2011)
Intellectual property rights grant a degree of exclusivity to the owners, necessarily restricting access of others to the same. On the other hand, anti-trust law seeks to promote competition and increase access to the market. There is a seemingly inherent conflict between the two. Yet, there is increasing opinion that the two realms can, not only co-exist but also complement each other. This article seeks to trace the shift from divergence of the two areas to their convergence. Thereafter, it aims to show that they have distinct operational areas and their functions can and must be kept independent. The theoretical position adopted above is tested against EU law, where such principles have been applied. The separation of operational areas has ensured minimum conflict in a market economy, where both areas play key roles. The Indian position can be seen to be leaning towards such an understanding and it is likely that eventually cases before the Competition Commission will be decided according to these principles.