As part of a continuing series on Spring 2019 semester courses that relate to innovation and business law, this post spotlights Introduction to Intellectual Property.

“Economics and antitrust are inseparable,” Professor Sullivan observed. When dealing with modern antitrust issues, the question typically is “what’s the best economic answer?” In Antitrust, students will approach competition issues from an economic perspective.

For students who have an interest in practicing in corporate law, antitrust law is an especially important area to be familiar with. “Whether you’re in-house counsel or outside counsel, you’ll be a greater asset to your client if you understand the modern antitrust compliance environment,” Professor Sullivan explained. Of course, knowledge of antitrust law can be helpful beyond the workplace as well. Antitrust law touches everybody every day. “Every single time you buy something,” Professor Sullivan said, “the price you pay for that item has been influenced by U.S. antitrust law, sometimes even if you buy it in a different country.”

Professor Sullivan noted that his class emphasizes economics more than most antitrust courses. “Basic undergraduate economics used to be enough,” Professor Sullivan explained, “but not anymore. Modern antitrust is now a sophisticated application of game theory.” But he also notes that no formal background in economics is required or even expected for the course. Instead, the class uses things like experimental economics to introduce these concepts in an accessible and intuitive way. “Rather than try to explain how cartels collude,” Sullivan noted, “I find it easier to let people try to be a cartel, and see for themselves how it works.”

Beyond economics, students will focus on practical aspects of antitrust law, parsing cases for more than just the legal doctrine. For example, students will discuss how to factually prove the elements of a claim for relief, and how to explain the relevant doctrine to a client.

Amanda Marincic -- October 23, 2017

Course Description 

Laws dealing with restraints of trade, monopolization and mergers; history of these laws and their development in the courts; current doctrine and its underlying legal and economic theories; analytical tools of trade: sufficiency of economic efficiency as the measure of justice.