In a corporate joint venture, two corporations-often competitors-collaborate on a project. But how can corporations be partners and competitors at the same time? Though it sounds like a contradiction, such collaborations are commonplace. Many of the most familiar products come from corporate joint ventures, from hightechnology like solid-state drives for laptops or rocket boosters for NASA's Discovery program, to everyday items like Star Wars action figures and even Shredded Wheat cereal. Indeed, Meinhard v. Salmon, arguably the most celebrated case in all of business law, arose out of a dispute within a joint venture. Yet unlike more familiar business forms such as corporations or LLCs, neither case law nor statute provides a clear statement of what a joint venture is or even which laws apply. Given this confusion, it is not surprising that the literature has not produced a unified theory of the corporate joint venture: A coherent statement of both what it is as a matter of law and how it functions.
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