Tragedy of the Anticommons

Two years ago, Michael Heller visited Notre Dame Law and talked about his theory, the “tragedy of the anticommons.” This article discusses that theory and notes that privatization in the field of biomedical research may effect innovation. Heller explains that “[a] proliferation of intellectual property rights upstream may be stifling life-saving innovations further downstream in the course of research and product development.” In the biomedical context, this paradox not only has high economic costs, but high social costs as well.

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