Empirical evidence that tough(er) IPR enforcement works?

June 13, 2008

Does anyone have any?

Obviously, there are a slew of industry-sponsored studies that tell us how much profit is lost through trademark and copyright infringements (all of them employing questionable methods and un-rigorous theories at best).

There are also numerous press-releases like this one, demonstrating that IPR police can bring down those evil counterfeiters.

But what about a peer-reviewed empirical study that actually supports the hypothesis that punishment is the best way to deal with unauthorized reproduction and use of intangible assets?

I can’t think of any.

Meanwhile, there are a number of studies demonstrating the benefits of opening up knowledge-based stuff in order to enable innovation and profits (PDF).

Seems like the US congress, courts, private sector firms, and trade officials ought to test their enforcement hypothesis sometime.

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