(Mis)Applications of Behavioral Economics to Regulation: The Importance of Public Choice Architecture Engage Volume 13, Issue 1, March 2012
Adam C. Smith March 22, 2012
Friedrich Hayek once said, “Unfortunately, the popular effect of this scientific advance has been a belief, seemingly shared by many scientists, that the range of our ignorance is steadily diminishing and that we can therefore aim at more comprehensive and deliberate control of all human activities. It is for this reason that those intoxicated by the advance of knowledge so often become the enemies of freedom.” This statement encapsulates a broad wariness of government intervention, even—and perhaps especially—intervention based upon scientific findings, into private enterprise. The problem, as Hayek points out, is that such control mechanisms, however scientifically informed, inevitably lead to unwanted consequences, often stifling the very creativity needed to foster the beneficial spontaneous order of the marketplace. [Read more!]
A Retrospective on the 1921 Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Georgia Engage Volume 13, Issue 1, March 2012
Establishing a strong system of constitutionalism is crucial for the development of modern statehood and the democratic institutions of Georgia. An indispensable prerequisite for this end is the existence of a constitution that ensures the principles of democratic governance, human rights, and rule of law. The Constitution of Georgia, adopted on August 24, 1995, is an endeavor in this direction. At the same time, we must analyze those political and legal traditions and documents, which, along with the modern global experience in constitutionalism, laid the ground for the present supreme law of Georgia and its future development. [Read more!] Intellectual Property Practice Group Podcast
Adam Mossoff April 01, 2014
The rise of the software industry following the personal computer revolution in the early 1980s created a heated policy debate about whether this “computer-implemented technology” should be secured in the patent system. The debate culminated this year with the Supreme Court’s cert grant in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank, in which the Court will determine whether computer-implemented technology, such as computer software programs like Excel or Word, are eligible for patent protection or whether they should be excluded from the patent system on the grounds that they are “abstract ideas” tantamount to scientific formulas or mathematical algorithms. Given the “smart phone war” between Apple, Samsung, Google, Microsoft, and other high-tech firms, many commentators in newspaper articles, in blogs, and at conferences now complain about the “problem of software patents.” But for at least twenty years, patents have secured software and served an important function in bringing to market technological innovation once imagined as only science fiction — tablet computers, smart phones, wireless telecommunication, cloud computing, and streaming television, movies and songs, to name but a few. In Alice, the Court holds the fate of a significant portion of America’s innovation economy in its hands, as the Justices will wrestle with the difficult issues of how the patent system can best promote high-tech innovation in the twenty-first century.
- Prof. Adam Mossoff, Professor of Law and Co-Director of Academic Programs and Senior Scholar of the Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property, George Mason University School of Law
[Listen now!] The Future of Business Law in Mexico
With Cofeco due to issue its final opinion in its recent action against Telcel, this panel will discuss whether the Ley Federal de Competencia Económica (LFCE – Mexico’s Federal Economic Competition Law) can or should be read to include a price-squeeze cause of action, the ramifications of adopting a price-squeeze theory of liability, and the impact of such a decision on businesses and consumers. The panel will also examine how antitrust enforcement in Mexico compares with other countries – what factors should or must be considered as Mexico moves forward? How should Mexico consider consumer interests? This panel was held during The Future of Business Law in Mexico conference on October 20, 2011. Speakers included Mr. Luis Felipe Lucatero Govea, Head of the Unit for Prospective Analysis and Regulation at Mexico's Federal Commission of Telecommunications; Prof. George L. Priest of Yale Law School; Prof. J. Gregory Sidak, Chairman and Founder of Criterion Economics, LLC; and JudgeCarlos T. Bea of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit as the moderator. Corporations, Securities, and Antitrust Practice Group
The popular press is full of reports of a renewed vigor in parts of our antitrust enforcement regime that address the conduct of leading firms. Investigations have been started or rumored against any number of firms near or at the top of various parts of the technology sector, including Intel, Yahoo, Google, Apple, AT&T, IBM, Facebook, and others. Forbes reported that the number of antitrust cases filed by the Department of Justice rose by 50 percent in 2011. These suits can be costly to defend, and carry large potential fines. Consent decrees negotiated to end such litigation often provide detailed terms and conditions governing the manner in which industry players may and may not conduct business going forward. In this environment, has antitrust enforcement itself become a regulatory mechanism? If so, does it represent the best way to regulate dynamic industries? These and other questions will be addressed by our panel of experts. Featuring The Honorable Ronald A. Cass of Cass & Associates, PC; The Honorable James Miller III of Husch Blackwell LLP; The Honorable Charles "Rick" Rule of Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft LLP; Mr. Robert A. Skitol of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP; and Prof. F. Scott Kieff of George Washington University Law School as the moderator.