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# When a company refuses to allow other companies to produce

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Re: When a company refuses to allow other companies to produce [#permalink]
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nitya34 wrote:
When a company refuses to allow other companies to produce patented technology, the consumer invariably loses. The company that holds the patent can charge exorbitant prices because there is no direct competition. When the patent expires, other companies are free to manufacture the technology and prices fall. Companies should therefore allow other manufacturers to license patented technology.

The argument above presupposes which of the following?

(A) Companies cannot find legal ways to produce technology similar to patented technology.
(B) Companies have an obligation to act in the best interest of the consumer.
(C) Too many patents are granted to companies that are unwilling to share them.
(D) The consumer can tell the difference between patented technology and inferior imitations.

OFFICIAL EXPLANATION

The conclusion of the argument is that companies should allow other manufacturers to license patented technology. The basis for that claim is that not doing so keeps prices high and harms the consumer. We're asked what the argument assumes ("presupposes") in drawing its conclusion. The correct answer will fill the logic gap between the idea that keeping prices high harms the consumer and that companies should allow other manufacturers to license patented technology. The conclusion is based on the assumption that companies have an obligation of some kind to do what's best for the consumer.

(A) This does not address the moral obligation to the consumers (i.e. “should”) of the companies who produced the patented technology, the main point of the conclusion. Furthermore, even if companies could find legal ways to produce similar technologies, the patented technology could still command exorbitant prices, thereby harming the consumer.

(B) CORRECT. The conclusion only makes sense if companies have an obligation to act in the best interest of the customer, as this choice states.

(C) This generally follows along with the author's claim, but we are not required to assume this in order to reach the conclusion that companies who are granted patents are obligated to look out for the best interests of their customers.

(D) This addresses a tangential issue of whether or not consumers could notice the difference between a new patented technology and a possible imitation. This does not address the core issue of the obligation to the consumer.

(E) This does not address the obligation of the companies toward the consumers, or indeed the companies at all.
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Re: When a company refuses to allow other companies to produce [#permalink]
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Technext wrote:
When a company refuses to allow other companies to produce patented technology, the consumer invariably loses. The company that holds the patent can charge exorbitant prices because there is no direct competition. When the patent expires, other companies are free to manufacture the technology and prices fall. Companies should therefore allow other manufacturers to license patented technology.

The argument above presupposes which of the following?

Explanation:

Conclusion: Companies should therefore allow other manufacturers to license patented technology.

How did we arrive at this conclusion? What if the companies don’t allow licensing of patented technology? If they don’t, consumers will suffer. But why should the companies really consider consumers?
-----------------------
A. Companies cannot find legal ways to produce technology similar to patented technology.
---> Does not address the issue raised above.

B. because Companies have an obligation to act in the best interest of the consumer. ---> This option answers the last question, thus, pointing to the presupposition involved.

C. Too many patents are granted to companies that are unwilling to share them. ---> Not necessarily true for arriving at the argument.

D. The consumer can tell the difference between patented technology and inferior imitations.
---> Irrelevant. Does not address the issue raised above.

-----------------------

I think it should be option B.

Regards,
Technext

I agree with the above analysis. In addition with assumption questions you must always focus on the conclusion (Companies should therefore allow other manufacturers to license patented technology)....doing so clearly eliminates A.
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Re: When a company refuses to allow other companies to produce [#permalink]
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I chose A before seeing the official answer explanations and I still feel A as the best choice so I may be not learning anything here

if you take the whole argument, The whole argument will fail if companies find legal ways to produce technology similar to patented technology.

so the argument presupposes choice A.

but if take the conclusion alone

Conclusion :
Companies should therefore allow other manufacturers to license patented technology.

then for this conclusion alone choice b seems to be valid.
(B) Companies have an obligation to act in the best interest of the consumer.
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silasaaa2 wrote:
I chose A before seeing the official answer explanations and I still feel A as the best choice so I may be not learning anything here

if you take the whole argument, The whole argument will fail if companies find legal ways to produce technology similar to patented technology.

so the argument presupposes choice A.

but if take the conclusion alone

Conclusion :
Companies should therefore allow other manufacturers to license patented technology.

then for this conclusion alone choice b seems to be valid.
(B) Companies have an obligation to act in the best interest of the consumer.

keep in mind that an assumption is an unstated premise that allows the conclusion to be logically drawn from the premises.

if you negate and add option A to the argument, you can still draw the conclusion. Thus, A cannot be correct. I think this is an important lesson to learn from this problem.
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Re: When a company refuses to allow other companies to produce [#permalink]
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nitya34 wrote:
When a company refuses to allow other companies to produce patented technology, the consumer invariably loses. The company that holds the patent can charge exorbitant prices because there is no direct competition. When the patent expires, other companies are free to manufacture the technology and prices fall. Companies should therefore allow other manufacturers to license patented technology.

The argument above presupposes which of the following?

(A) Companies cannot find legal ways to produce technology similar to patented technology. => Correct, If companies can find other way to produce technology similar to patented technology, then they will take it. The argument is then weakened.
(B) Companies have an obligation to act in the best interest of the consumer.=> the Word " obligation" makes this choice wrong.
(C) Too many patents are granted to companies that are unwilling to share them.
(D) The consumer can tell the difference between patented technology and inferior imitations.

B
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krackgmat wrote:
When a company refuses to allow other companies to produce patented technology, the consumer invariably loses. The company that holds the patent can charge exorbitant prices because there is no direct competition. When the patent expires, other companies are free to manufacture the technology and prices fall. Companies should therefore allow other manufacturers to license patented technology.

The argument above presupposes which of the following?

a. Companies cannot find legal ways to produce technology similar to patented technology.
b. Companies have an obligation to act in the best interest of the consumer.
c. Too many patents are granted to companies that are unwilling to share them.
d. The consumer can tell the difference between patented technology and inferior imitations.

Will provide the OA after some explanations.

My take will be Option B.

Conclusion : Companies should allow other manufacturers to license patented technology.

If we suggest a company to allow other manufacturers to license patent despite of the fact that the monopoly of the company from the market will be lost, then the only reason is the Consumers are the ones for which Companies care and are obligated to. Hence the unsaid assumption here is "Companies have an obligation to act in the best interest of the consumer"
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This is a REALLY tricky question. All five answers can be supported. The real question is, what is "the argument"?

When a company refuses to allow other companies to produce patented technology, the consumer invariably loses.
This statement is highly questionable. For example, Apple Inc. does not allow its competitors to produce i-Phones and i-Pads, and it does charge exorbitant prices. Yet we cannot say that the consumers necessarily lose, because consumers also care about quality. Thus, in a sense, this statement presupposes E (consumers care more about price than about quality).

In fact, the very existence of the system of patenting suggests that patents are good for the consumer. If the patent system did not allow Apple to charge exorbitant prices, there would, arguably, be no i-Pods and no i-Phones. Patents incentivise companies to innovate so they can later charge exorbitant prices.

The company that holds the patent can charge exorbitant prices because there is no direct competition.
This statement is highly questionable. McDonald's is the only one producing Big Mac's, and there is no direct competition, but there is indirect competition (other hamburgers ). Thus, McDonald's cannot charge exorbitant prices.

This statement thus presupposes A and D. If other companies could produce similar unpatented technology, the company in question would not be able to charge exorbitant prices. For example, companies other than Apple can produce other smartphones, and the price for i-Phones will necessarily keep going down because of that. However, if you know the story with the patent that Singer used for his sewing machine, you would see how carefully designed patents actually allow the company to charge exorbitant prices for much longer. Thus, here (A) is clearly an assumption. The same can be said about (D): if the consumers cannot tell the difference between patented technology and inferior imitations, patenting company would not be able to charge exorbitant prices.

When the patent expires, other companies are free to manufacture the technology and prices fall.
This is just common sense; no assumptions.

Companies should therefore allow other manufacturers to license patented technology.
Note the "therefore". In reality, this is a completely ridiculous conclusion. Try to tell Apple they they should license their i-Phones so others can produce them. Why?! Well, (B) offers a nice explanation: because companies should act in the best interest of the consumer.

In a sense, (C) can also be considered an assumption. From a practical point of view, if there is no problem, then there is nothing to argue about. Thus, if this issue was raised, then, chances are, somebody thinks that too many patents are granted to selfish companies. However, "too many" is highly subjective, and thus looks like a poor answer.

Overall, I support (B). This is because (A), (D), (E) are assumptions underlying the premises, but only (B) is an assumption underlying the actual argument, the actual inference. If it is given that the company that holds the patent can charge exorbitant prices, then (A) is no longer an assumption.

I think the point is to distinguish, which assumptions are needed for the premises vs. which assumptions are needed for the implication. For example, if you negate (A) and add it to the premises, you get a contradiction. If you add (B) to the premises, it strengthens the implication; if you add not (B) to the argument, it weakens the implication. Note that if you add (C) to the premises, it somewhat strengthens the argument, and if you add not (C) to the premises, it somewhat weakens the argument, but not as obviously as with (B).

In a sense, (C) suggests (B); but (B) is more explicit.
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I guess this question generated a lot of discussion! When evaluating answer choice A, it's important to understand that, when the stem says the "consumer invariably loses" if companies don't share patents, that is a *premise* of the argument - it's a fact, and cannot be wrong. So whether other companies are able to imitate patented technology makes no difference; the premise that consumers will lose must still be true. Answer A is just a trap answer; it is only tempting if you're trying to disprove one of the premises of the argument, and you are always doing something wrong if you're trying to attack a premise in a CR assumption or weaken question.

The argument essentially says: "Companies with exclusive patents charge high prices. So companies should share their patents." There's a massive gap in that argument - *why* should companies share patents? We're assuming there's something wrong with companies charging high prices. That is why B is the right answer.
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nitya34 wrote:
When a company refuses to allow other companies to produce patented technology, the consumer invariably loses. The company that holds the patent can charge exorbitant prices because there is no direct competition. When the patent expires, other companies are free to manufacture the technology and prices fall. Companies should therefore allow other manufacturers to license patented technology.

The argument above presupposes which of the following?

(A) Companies cannot find legal ways to produce technology similar to patented technology.
(B) Companies have an obligation to act in the best interest of the consumer.
(C) Too many patents are granted to companies that are unwilling to share them.
(D) The consumer can tell the difference between patented technology and inferior imitations.

B

Responding to a pm: Use of Assumption Negation Technique (ANT) here.
The point of ANT is that you negate the option and see if the conclusion can hold. If it can hold then the option is not an assumption. If the conclusion cannot hold on negating the option, then the option must be an assumption. Since the doubt is between A and B, I will handle these two options.

Conclusion: Companies should allow others to produce patented tech so that consumers don't lose.

(A) Companies cannot find legal ways to produce technology similar to patented technology.
Negate: Companies can find legal ways to produce technology similar to patented tech.
Can our conclusion still hold? Can we say that companies should allow others to produce patented tech so that consumers don't lose? Sure, it can still hold. Even if other companies can find legal ways to produce similar tech, the original tech may be far better. Also, the legal methods may be much more expensive so customers may still suffer, we don't know. Point is, companies should allow others to produce patented tech because the consumers may suffer otherwise. The conclusion CAN still hold.

(B) Companies have an obligation to act in the best interest of the consumer.
Negate: Companies do not have an obligation to act in the best interest of the consumer.
Now can our conclusion hold? Can we say that companies should allow others to produce patented tech so that consumers don't lose? No. Companies have no obligations to the consumer. They don't care about the best interest of the consumer. This means they don't need to allow other companies to produce patented tech because they anyway don't care about consumer interests. Hence our conclusion cannot hold.

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Re: When a company refuses to allow other companies to produce [#permalink]
Technext wrote:
When a company refuses to allow other companies to produce patented technology, the consumer invariably loses. The company that holds the patent can charge exorbitant prices because there is no direct competition. When the patent expires, other companies are free to manufacture the technology and prices fall. Companies should therefore allow other manufacturers to license patented technology.

The argument above presupposes which of the following?

Explanation:

Conclusion: Companies should therefore allow other manufacturers to license patented technology.

How did we arrive at this conclusion? What if the companies don’t allow licensing of patented technology? If they don’t, consumers will suffer. But why should the companies really consider consumers?
-----------------------
A. Companies cannot find legal ways to produce technology similar to patented technology.
---> Does not address the issue raised above.

B. because Companies have an obligation to act in the best interest of the consumer. ---> This option answers the last question, thus, pointing to the presupposition involved.

C. Too many patents are granted to companies that are unwilling to share them. ---> Not necessarily true for arriving at the argument.

D. The consumer can tell the difference between patented technology and inferior imitations.
---> Irrelevant. Does not address the issue raised above.

-----------------------

I think it should be option B.

Regards,
Technext

Good explanation.
I feel B is correct only if there would have a last sentence about license.
If B is correct then it s contradicting Argument itself. If 'Companies have an obligation to act in the best interest of the consumer' then why they would increase prices exorbitantly ?
Author is conforming that companies can charge exorbitant prices. If they really care for consumer then companies won't increase price irrespective of competition.

Correct me if i am wrong.
Thanks
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Re: When a company refuses to allow other companies to produce [#permalink]
Rudranket wrote:
Technext wrote:
When a company refuses to allow other companies to produce patented technology, the consumer invariably loses. The company that holds the patent can charge exorbitant prices because there is no direct competition. When the patent expires, other companies are free to manufacture the technology and prices fall. Companies should therefore allow other manufacturers to license patented technology.

The argument above presupposes which of the following?

Explanation:

Conclusion: Companies should therefore allow other manufacturers to license patented technology.

How did we arrive at this conclusion? What if the companies don’t allow licensing of patented technology? If they don’t, consumers will suffer. But why should the companies really consider consumers?
-----------------------
A. Companies cannot find legal ways to produce technology similar to patented technology.
---> Does not address the issue raised above.

B. because Companies have an obligation to act in the best interest of the consumer. ---> This option answers the last question, thus, pointing to the presupposition involved.

C. Too many patents are granted to companies that are unwilling to share them. ---> Not necessarily true for arriving at the argument.

D. The consumer can tell the difference between patented technology and inferior imitations.
---> Irrelevant. Does not address the issue raised above.

-----------------------

I think it should be option B.

Regards,
Technext

Good explanation.
I feel B is correct only if there would have a last sentence about license.
If B is correct then it s contradicting Argument itself. If 'Companies have an obligation to act in the best interest of the consumer' then why they would increase prices exorbitantly ?
Author is conforming that companies can charge exorbitant prices. If they really care for consumer then companies won't increase price irrespective of competition.

Correct me if i am wrong.
Thanks

(B) doesn't contradict the argument. (B) says that companies should act in the best interest of the consumer. It doesn't say whether the companies do actually act in the best interests of the consumer. The argument says that since the consumer loses when the company doesn't let other manufacturers make patented products so the company should let other manufacturers make. So the argument is assuming that the companies care about consumers' loss.
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nitya34 wrote:
When a company refuses to allow other companies to produce patented technology, the consumer invariably loses. The company that holds the patent can charge exorbitant prices because there is no direct competition. When the patent expires, other companies are free to manufacture the technology and prices fall. Companies should therefore allow other manufacturers to license patented technology.

The argument above presupposes which of the following?

(A) Companies cannot find legal ways to produce technology similar to patented technology.
(B) Companies have an obligation to act in the best interest of the consumer.
(C) Too many patents are granted to companies that are unwilling to share them.
(D) The consumer can tell the difference between patented technology and inferior imitations.

B

There are many possible presupposes,so I followed the process of elimination to get the question Correct

When a company refuses to allow other companies to produce patented technology, the consumer invariably loses. The company that holds the patent can charge exorbitant prices because there is no direct competition. When the patent expires, other companies are free to manufacture the technology and prices fall. Companies should therefore allow other manufacturers to license patented technology.

The argument above presupposes which of the following?

(A) Companies cannot find legal ways to produce technology similar to patented technology. .......>Outside the scope of the argument
(B) Companies have an obligation to act in the best interest of the consumer. ...........>Correct.it is necessarily assumed to hold the argument valid/true
(C) Too many patents are granted to companies that are unwilling to share them. ........>New information that is outside the scope of the argument
(D) The consumer can tell the difference between patented technology and inferior imitations. ......>New information that is outside the scope of the argument

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The premise is about X: The CONSUMER loses when a company refuses to allow other companies to produce patented technology.
The conclusion is about Y: COMPANIES should therefore allow other manufacturers to license patented technology.

The assumption is that X is linked to Y: that, because the CONSUMER loses, COMPANIES should change what they are doing -- even though these companies can charge EXORBITANT prices. Why should a company that can charge exorbitant prices change its business model? What's bad for the consumer clearly is GOOD for the company.

Answer choice B exposes the assumption:

For the conclusion here to be valid, it MUST BE TRUE THAT companies have an obligation to act in the best interest of the consumer.

If this answer choice is negated -- if companies DO NOT have an obligation to act in the best interest of the consumer -- then they have no reason to license patented technology, invalidating the conclusion of the passage.

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