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Southern Miss Sponsoring International Property Rights Roundtable PDF Print E-mail
Friday, April 30, 2010
Contact David Tisdale, 601.266.4499   

In conjunction with The University of Southern Mississippi’s Centennial Celebration, the Center for International Education is sponsoring an international roundtable on intellectual property rights IPRs) and growth this weekend in Pontlevoy, France in conjunction with the 10th session of its Abbey Program the current home of more than 40 study-abroad students from Southern Miss and other partner universities. 

At this event, experts from eight countries representing academia, government and business will spend three days discussing the impact of IPRs on economic growth and innovation.

Coordinated by Sami Dakhlia, a Southern Miss associate professor of economics, the conference will include a keynote address by professor Michele Boldrin, co-author of "Against Intellectual Monopoly" and with the participation of France's former Attorney General Jacques Toubon, one of the architects of France's new Internet anti-piracy law. 

"It's a unique opportunity for our Abbey students--who come from all over Mississippi and indeed the country--to have the chance to sit and learn from academic and governmental leaders in the field of economics right here in the center of France," said Dr. Douglas Mackaman, director of The Abbey Program. "Dr. Dakhlia has given Southern Miss the opportunity to stand at the center of this dynamic and business-building set of discussions."

According to Dakhlia, the standard economic arguments for IPRs rest on a set of market failure assumptions, in particular, that the large fixed cost of research and development cannot be reconciled with pricing at marginal cost while spillovers and appropriation encourage free-riding by competitors.

This conventional wisdom is being challenged by a new wave of laissez-faire economists who argue that not only is innovation indeed possible even under perfect competition, but that patents, just like copyrights, actually delay the generation of new ideas, he said.

“As a consequence, IPRs may do more harm than good; they may slow down rather than accelerate innovation,” Dakhlia said. “In an economy increasingly based on knowledge, the consequences of perfecting the institutional framework are considerable for economic growth, both in the U.S. and in the rest of the world.”

For more information about Southern Miss International Education, online visit

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The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities.  In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world.  Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at
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