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

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

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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