|Abstract: ||Overlaps of intellectual property rights are a phenomenon that is not yet fully understood and analyzed; yet it is an increasingly important issue due to development of new hybrid technologies that defy the established structure of the system. Despite the potential adverse effects this phenomenon can have on the integrity of the system, the problem of overlaps has been neglected in judicial and scholarly analyses.
This research presents the thesis that all uses of intellectual property rights should be viewed in light of their purposes. In other words, the phenomenon of overlapping intellectual property rights is not a problem per se; instead, it is the use of the rights for incompatible purposes that may be considered objectionable. The analyses use the concept of balance of rights as the measuring rod for assessment of the consequences resulting from use of the overlapping rights. Thus, the dissertation investigates how use of intellectual property rights associated with one segment of the system can affect carefully crafted balance of rights of various stakeholders in an overlapping segment and whether effectiveness of this segment to advance its purposes will be impeded by such use.
The analyses are also done with the aim to formulate a uniform answer to identified and potentially objectionable uses of overlapping rights in an attempt to provide the judiciary and law practitioners with analytical framework for resolving disputes involving overlaps in the intellectual property system. An adequate response to the challenge posed by improper use of overlapping intellectual property rights can be found in a properly construed doctrine of misuse of intellectual property rights. Because overlaps in the intellectual property system are a phenomenon that probably cannot be legislated in practical terms, this dissertation advocates adoption of a judicially created doctrine of misuse based on purposive analysis of intellectual property rights.|