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Monopolization Through Patent Theft

 |  April 5, 2015

Posted by Social Science Research Network

Monopolization Through Patent Theft–  Christopher R. Leslie (University of California)

Abstract: Patent theft occurs when a firm steals an innovator’s idea and then files an application for a patent on that invention with the Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”). If successful, the patent thief can exclude even the true innovator from making and selling the product that she herself invented. When the patent thief succeeds in stealing and patenting another’s innovation and then using the exclusionary rights granted by the patent to monopolize a market, antitrust principles are implicated. Section 2 of the Sherman Act condemns illegal monopolization, which is monopolization through anticompetitive conduct instead of through competition on the merits. The Supreme Court has long held that patent fraud is anticompetitive conduct.