SMU Law Review
THE United States, Canada, the European Union, Japan and most industrialized nations have adopted patent, copyright and other intellectual property laws. A major or primary purpose of those laws is to foster innovation, including technological innovation. Industrial and technological innovation is generally perceived as a good because technological advances increase a society's productivity, 1 thus increasing its wealth and raising living standards. The major industrialized nations also possess competition laws, one of whose purposes is to preserve, foster and support competitive markets. These nations want to preserve competitive markets because competitive markets help to allocate available resources to their highest valued uses and generate increased productive efficiency, also helping to enrich society. 2 Since mid-century, the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan and other nations have been encouraging international trade, under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), by progressively lowering their tariffs and eliminating other barriers to trade. 3 These efforts to promote freer trade help to allocate the world's resources more closely to their highest-valued uses, thereby increasing the aggregate wealth of the entire world.
Daniel J. Gifford, Government Policy Towards Innovation in the United States, Canada, and the European Union as Manifested in Patent, Copyright, and Competition Laws, 57 SMU L. Rev. 1339 (2004), available at http://scholarship.law.umn.edu/faculty_articles/333.