The Economics of Dominant Technical Architectures: The Case of the Personal Computer Industry

by Ike Chang

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback41 pages $23.00 $18.40 20% Web Discount

The predominance of a single architectural standard in the personal computer (PC) industry has enabled certain firms to attain near monopoly positions in their respective markets. This paper discusses how Intel and Microsoft obtained near-monopoly positions in their respective markets due to intellectual property rights and how their strong market positions enabled them to innovate beyond their competitors. It is argued, therefore, that public policy motives to limit their market power by weakening the intellectual property rights of market-leading companies such as Intel and Microsoft should not take precedence over the positive role played by intellectual property in inducing such companies to make innovative investments that benefit society over the long run.

Research conducted by

This report is part of the RAND Corporation paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.