Monday, June 19, 2006

Philosophy - Why do we do this?

According to this article on, the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice department disagree on an agreement between Schering-Plough and two manufacturers of generic drugs.

Schering and the two generic manufacturers agreed to delay the marketing of a generic version of a Schering potassium supplement. The FTC claims that Schering bought off competitors and wants to pursue antitrust violations. The Justice department does not want to pursue these claims, because the department claims that patent law makes an agreement like this allowable.

Why? Well, this is because of why we practice trademark, copyright, or patent law - collectively known as Intellectual Property. (I do not practice patent law, however.) We do it because we believe that entities (people or businesses) own their own work. We work to protect that work. Patent law protects the inventions that entities create. Trademark law protects the names of products or services that are sold - quality of the brand name is at stake. Copyright law (generally) protects works of art and helps to link the artist to the art.

Although the Slate article discusses who represents the United States in an argument, maybe the discussion is better framed as what rules: Antitrust law (to prevent monopolies) or Intellectual Property law (which exists to allow monopolies in certain instances).

I, obviously, am taking the side of the Intellctual Property law. Those monopolies - in inventions, names, or art - exist so that there can be fruits of labor.

For a much more thorough explanation, see, an article by Justin Hughes whose citation is 77 Geo. L.J. 287 (1988).


Post a Comment

<< Home