The purpose of this paper is to clarify the relationship between trademarks and market power and their implication for antitrust law and policy by using law and economics approaches. The interaction of trademarks and antitrust continues to be an enigmatic area of intellectual property rights and policy making. Antitrust law protects competition and the competitive process by preventing certain type of conduct that threatens a free market. Trademark law protect the owners brand and for the owner to reap the economic incentive from its protection. In this paper, I argue that both the law and economics of trademarks should steer new directions for both policy goals. Do trademarks confer market power, are some well known trademarks becoming too dominant? If so, what do current antitrust law tells us about the interaction of intellectual property rights and competition? I argue that though the two areas are not in tension – empirical evidence suggests that both areas cannot continue on the same level and that there is a shift in the balance of the policy goals.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/p_sean_morris/26/