A time-honored way to encourage investment in intangibles is to make rules to allow people and businesses to own them.

While it encourages investment by constraining the spillover effect, it hampers broader productivity gains by also limiting potential synergies. This is a real tension.

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In some cases, the potential productivity gain from synergies is sufficiently strong that there is a good case for weakening rather than strengthening IP rights.

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Isaac Su

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